SAN ANTONIO (AP) – After his subpar performance in Game 1, reporters expected a string of expletives and angry explanations from Detroit Pistons forward Rasheed Wallace.

Instead, the volatile Wallace gave a subdued performance Friday, bringing his two young sons, Ish and Nazir, to the podium as he answered questions about his six points on six shots in the Pistons’ 84-69 loss.

“That game last night was a good game but it’s over with, through. No need to sit up here and dwell on that. We’ve just got to go forward,” he said.

A new, mellow Wallace? What happened to the guy who shouted and swore through pre-game interviews on Wednesday?

“I just say what I feel, no matter if it’s right or if it’s wrong,” Wallace said.

There was definitely something wrong with Wallace and the Pistons in Game 1. He started quickly, hitting three shots in the first quarter and dogging the Spurs’ Tim Duncan on the defensive end.

But the scoring quickly dried up and he took just three shots the rest of the game. One of them stopped play when it wedged between the backboard and the rim.

After the game, Detroit coach Larry Brown and the players talked about needing to get Wallace the ball more, as if Pistons guards weren’t doing enough to run the offense through their big men. By Friday, the message was that Wallace and the Detroit front court must do more to demand the ball.

“It’s not always about the guards. You know, I always think the game is played inside out,” Brown said.

“You’ve got to have your big guys commanding the ball and running the floor, and so it works both ways. We had big guys open, sometimes we missed them, but a lot of times I don’t think we did enough to demand the ball.”

Wallace said the Pistons don’t have to force-feed the offense through him for him to be effective.

“It’s different ways that I can score,” he said. “It doesn’t necessarily have to be fed to me in the post. It can be on the rebound or get a couple of steals and fast breaks or whatever.”

However he does it, the Pistons want Wallace to get to the basket early and keep it coming the entire game.

“I told Rasheed he needs to take seven or eight more shots for us to win the game,” said Tayshaun Prince, who had 11 points in Game 1.

“The thing about Rasheed, he gets everybody else involved. He rebounds, he blocks shots and at times he can be really too unselfish.”

Several Spurs said they’d be surprised if Wallace puts in a repeat performance in Game 2 on Sunday night.

Duncan said he expects Wallace to put up about 20 shots. The Pistons are 8-0 in the postseason when Wallace scores at least 20.

“It will be a totally different game,” Duncan said. “He’s going to be a lot more aggressive.”


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