#TBT: Ben Wallace

by April 09, 2015
33

How do you explain Ben Wallace being so damn good? Any bucket of his had to be expertly set up — he had no chance of scoring from outside the paint. He is among a small handful of the worst free throws shooters in NBA history. His hops were average by League standards. He was 6-9 on his stretchiest day.

And yet, he stuck around for 16 years, always guarding guys two, three and six inches taller than him. He had some unteachable power that placed him in the exact right spot at the exact right time on each defensive trip. He posted 18 and 22 on Shaq in the Pistons’ title-clinching Game 5 win in ’04. He was likely the League’s best defender from 2001 right on through 2006.

If Ben Wallace is any indication, then we’ve had it backwards the whole time: great offense has nothin’ on great defense.