So you know that Ben Wallace is a 4 time defensive player of the year, and you know he's the worst free throw shooter in the history of this particular solar system. Those are both pretty well documented.
Here's some stuff that you have to dig for, though.
1) Ben Wallace is a good ballhandler for a centre.
2) Ben Wallace is a good passer of the ball, particularly for a centre.
3) Ben Wallace's jumpshot is poor, but not horrid. He can occasionally make open ones.
4) You've never seen anyone worse at layups in your life. Not even me.
Any layup, hook shot, or even a one handed dunk, is an adventure. And it's an adventure that often ends badly. For whatever reason - allegedly due to a missing tendon in his shooting hand - Wallace can't make these simple shots.. This tendon-induced complete-inability-to-hit-layups doesn't seem to stop him screaming "AND ONE!" every time he chucks one over the backboard, and nor does it explain why he hasn't worked on develop his non-tendon-deficient left hand instead. (Maybe he's stubborn. His history of falling out with coaches and sulking when he doesn't get to wear his headband would also suggest this.) By this time, however, these things are too late to change. Offensively, even with his dribbling and passing, Ben Wallace is awful.
Nonetheless, those DPOY's are there for a reason. For those still unaware of how Ben Wallace plays, here's a short recap. At about 6'7 tall in spite of what it says on your left, Wallace went undrafted and unappreciated as a young player because everybody tried to play him as a small forward, where his complete inability to hit a shot became a major drawback. As he bulked up more, he emerged as a small centre who used all his strength and supreme athleticism to win both rebounding titles and Defensive Player Of The Year awards, even if his offensive game was limited to Rip Hamilton's lob passes. Wallace's help defense was terrific, his man defense good, his rebounding elite, and his tenacity unmatched.
But now, his athleticism is starting to wane, and he's getting injured more often. He can't defend both the protagonists of a pick and roll at once any more, but still plays like he can, and his style of play hasn't changed even now that his agility has declined. He will still rebound and defend well, but not as well as he could. With there now being exposable holes in his defense, Ben is more and more having to rely on his skill to survive on the court.
And that's......a pity.
- 5th March, 2009.