NBA Notes: Ben Wallace Trade to Rockets' Recent Run

Tim PollockSenior Writer IFebruary 23, 2008

If Dwight Howard played Major League Baseball, something tells me his name would be on the Mitchell Report.

(Note: I am not implying that Howard takes steroids, but has there ever been a 22-year old this freakishly muscular? Dude’s shoulders are as broad as airplane’s. An airplane on steroids.)

Rounding out the first team All-Mitchell Report squad:

Power forward:  Al Horford; Small forward:  Corey Maggette; Shooting guard:  LeBron James; Point guard:  Jameer Nelson


Speaking of huge Orlando Magic centers, I was recently reminded of how monstrous Shaq really is. Amare Stoudemire is a big guy—good for 6-foot-10 and 245 pounds and second team All-Mitchell Report—but watching him stand next to Shaq makes Amare look like a shooting guard.

Sure, the Rockets just hammered the Hornets to win their 11th game in a row, but is anybody scared of this team come playoff time?

Random stat that sums up the Rockets: Yao Ming—despite his 7-foot-5 frame and 37 minutes a game—is still only 9th in the league in blocked shots. How is that even possible?  

I like the trade for Bobby Jackson, but the Rockets still don’t have the firepower to match up with the big dogs. And T-Mac is about a week away from some new back spasms anyway. 


Welcome back to the NBA, Wally Szczerbiak. After being virtually forgotten about in Seattle—where he was quietly putting up over 13 points in only 23 minutes per game—Szczerbiak should get plenty of open looks with teams focused on stopping LeBron. The trade also serves as a sort of homecoming for Szczerbiak, who played his college ball at Miami of Ohio.

Cleveland now has more than just the erratic Damon Jones and injured Daniel Gibson as an outside threat. While the Cavs picked up four quality players in this deal, I see Szczerbiak contributing the most. The make-up of this team just seems right for his strengths. 

Meanwhile, Ben Wallace returns to his role as rebounder and defensive specialist. More importantly, though, with frontcourt mates Joe Smith, Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Anderson Varejao, Cleveland now has the flexibility to play a number of different rotations, and won’t have to rely on Wallace to do things he is incapable of. And contrary to popular belief, Wallace is still only 33 years old—not exactly the old man Chicago fans were making him out to be.    

Danny Ferry must be applauded for this last-minute trade. Not only did he pick up four quality players—all of whom should see major minutes—he dumped inconsistent Drew Gooden and Larry Hughes. 

No wonder LeBron was dancing like a fool during Friday’s win over Washington. 


Is it physically possible for Paul Pierce to make a layup without doing a spin move?


Another unlikely beneficiary of the trade is Joakim Noah. With Ben Wallace now gone, Noah should continue to see more and more minutes. He responded well in the first game after Big Ben headed to Cleveland, posting 14 points and nabbing 10 rebounds in a win over Nuggets. 

Most known for his infamous player-inspired suspension earlier this year, this is Noah’s chance to erase the negative perception currently surrounding him. 


Can we just name Hedo Turkoglu a member of next year’s All-Star team now to make up for this year’s snub?  Please? 19.5 points, 6 rebounds, and 4.7 assists per game.