The importance of having Ben Wallace around

A couple of commenters who are devoted to the youth movement were a little annoyed last night when Lawrence Frank benched Brandon Knight and Greg Monroe late in last night’s game. The logic in leaving them in, although I don’t agree with it, was that players like Monroe and Knight need to sink or swim in situations like that. I guess a case could be made for that.

Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press has the counterpoint though:

But even as Ben Wallace approaches the final laps of his career, advancing time hasn’t changed some things.

He still does the little things that win important games.

How many noticed how quickly he called time-out after snaring a critical defensive rebound off a missed Kobe Bryant three-point attempt with 32 seconds remaining in overtime? He got a stoppage before the Lakers could foul him and send him to the free throw line, which remains a nail-gnawing adventure with Wallace.

I’m a big believer in giving hard-working young players like Monroe, Knight and Jonas Jerebko big minutes. They’ve all played well enough to earn them. But I’m also not opposed to occasionally having one, two or all of them sit down and watch how a player like Wallace responds in late-game scenarios like what played out last night. I certainly don’t want it to be the norm with them, but once in a while is fine.

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Tags: Ben Wallace Brandon Knight Greg Monroe Jonas Jerebko

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