On October 3, 2012, Rasheed Wallace joined the New York Knicks in an attempt to revive his career. When the announcement was made, Sheed was greeted not as a returning hero but rather as a questionable signing that would at best produce limitedly. Coach Mike Woodson even said himself that, "it's not like we're looking at a player who's going to play a lot of minutes."
Despite Woodson's comments, Wallace has played just over ten minutes per game through the first five matchups of the season. In that time frame, he has averaged 5.2 points per game to add to over three rebounds per night. Not only that, but Wallace has been getting significant minutes as opposed to just playing garbage time at the end of games.
However, five games hardly paints an accurate picture of a player and of a season. Fans and observers alike have been pleasantly surprised by Wallace's production, but the question still lurks as to whether or not it is a sustainable production. If it is, Wallace will have successfully revived his career and contributed to one last team. If it is not, Wallace will be added to the long list of questionable signings made by James Dolan.
How will Rasheed Wallace's time in NY be remembered?
What is important in determining the potential longevity of this success is both the set of skills Wallace has demonstrated thus far this season as well as the set of skills the Knicks as a team have shown. The most important thing to take into account is the ball movement demonstrated by New York. The team has combined isolation plays on Carmelo Anthony with quick passing along the perimeter and inside.
This spreads the floor significantly, which plays right into Sheed's strengths. He is old, but he's also still 6'11". By getting him one-on-ones inside, New York has allowed Wallace to use his frame and post moves to make the difference. Wallace has consistently scored on short hooks or simple post moves. If the movement remains for the Knicks, all of their players will be getting looks which serves to better utilize the strength of New York that is their experience.
Secondly, there may not be a better place for Wallace to be playing than at Madison Square Garden. There, fans appreciate contributors and have shown with their love for Steve Novak that stars aren't the sole tenants of their hearts. This will play right into Wallace's hands who is known for playing with emotion and feeding off of the crowd (as demonstrated by his past with technical fouls). Having the whole crowd chant for him just to enter the game will never hurt.
Only the future will tell if Wallace can revive his career, but for now there is hope. There is hope for this team, and there is hope for this player. That's something New York hasn't felt in a while, and that's something that could bolster an entire fan base to lift a player back into it.