Coach Sheed leaving his mark on Pistons bigs

Coach Sheed leaving his mark on Pistons bigs
March 10, 2014, 12:00 pm
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BOSTON - You're more likely to remember Rasheed Wallace rocking inside-out sweat pants and a workout shirt.

He hasn't given up that look entirely, but the now retired 16-year vet - one with the Celtics - finds himself in a fancy suit and a front row seat to each and every Detroit Pistons game.

Sheed is now an assistant coach - if you can believe that - and having a positive effect on the Pistons bigs. What he brings to the team is not just helpful tips, but experience off the court as well.

"He's a great vet," Greg Monroe said. "The knowledge he has, the experience he has. He's definitely shown me a lot and taught me a lot, and he's shared a lot of stuff he used to be successful with me and I try to incorporate that into my game."

The Pistons are loaded with a lot of talented bigs from Monroe to Andre Drummond to Josh Smith. Smith notices how Wallace's ways are rubbing off on the younger guys.

"He has a big effect," Smith said. "He knows the game. He has a very high basketball IQ. I think he's doing a great job at developing our young bigs. As far as him showing me certain tricks of the trade as a veteran, it's been very helpful. I've been a sponge all year long."

All you have to do is look at the improved play of Andre Drummond from his rookie season to his sophomore season to see how Wallace has helped improve his game. He probably isn't getting enough credit for that. Drummond has raised his rookie averages of 7.9 points and 7.6 rebounds to 13.2 points and 13.1 rebounds. His field goal percentage, free throw percentage, blocks, and steals are also up.

Drummond, who says he still takes it to Wallace all the time in practice, enjoys having him around. The two have worked extensively on Drummond's post moves as well as where he needs to be defensively. In fact, Wallace came storming through the locker room looking for Drummond prior to their game on Sunday.

"He's been great for me, been a great edition to the team," Drummond said. "Our progress has been a lot better with him being with us."

And not surprisingly, Sheed is still Sheed. He's not exactly your typical coach out there.

"Sheed is always going to be loud and always going to voice his opinion," Charlie Villanueva said. "He's going to do it his way. But he can definitely relate to us. I think sometimes he forgets he's a coach. He's so fresh to it. But he's been great."

Monroe also embraces Wallace's ways, and goes one step further by saying that he was "misunderstood" as a player.

"Yeah, he's Sheed. He's going to be who he is," Monroe said. "I don't have a problem with it. He's a great person, he's a great coach, he's a great player. I think he might be misunderstood at times. To know him personally, he's a very good person. I think his passion for the game was misunderstood while he was playing."