Friday , Dec , 22 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Pistons get ‘Sheed back

(Sports Network) – The Detroit Pistons got one of their key players back this
week when Rasheed Wallace returned from a two-game absence to help beat the
division-rival Cleveland Cavaliers.

Wallace, who had missed the previous two wins with an ankle injury, returned
to the lineup Wednesday and contributed a modest nine points and six rebounds
in an 87-71 victory at Quicken Loans Arena. Wallace played almost 26 minutes
against the Cavs.

“But I’m not worried about that right now,” Wallace said about his numbers.
“We played good team defense, and that’s pretty much all that mattered. You
all know me. I’m not no offensive player or worried about my offensive game.”

In 22 games this season, Wallace is averaging 13.3 points and 9.1 rebounds a
contest. Wallace noted that surgery is not an option and will most likely miss
a few games when his ankle begins to bother him.

Not that Detroit desperately needed Wallace back in the lineup but his return
came at a perfect time. Now the Pistons, who have won three straight and own a
13-3 mark over the last 16 games, are in first place in the Central Division,
just 1 1/2 games ahead of Cleveland.

“When we control tempo, we’re a better defensive team and a better rebounding
team,” Pistons head coach Flip Saunders said. “A lot of things fall into
place. When you control tempo, that means you’re playing with a purpose on
every possession. That’s what we’ve been doing the last three or four weeks.”

Detroit will play four of its next five games at The Palace of Auburn Hills,
where they have won six of their last seven games. The Pistons are also 7-3 as
the host this season.