Rasheed Wallace Ejected, Suspended for Towel Abuse
Rasheed Wallace's anger with the refs began to boil over shortly before the video (courtesy of Need4Sheed) picks up -- he was tagged for his first tech with 8:22 left in the fourth, and after a few trips up and down the court, he earned his second tech for flinging a towel into the stands after being whistled for a shooting foul.
As announcers George Blaha and Greg Kelser explain, the two techs put him at 16 for the season, which means he's automatically suspended for Friday's game in Orlando. Talk about bad timing -- Detroit lost their eighth in a row on Wednesday, and now they have to face Dwight Howard without one of the few players in the league capable of keeping Howard in check? Double-digit losing streak, here we come! [UPDATE: Two technicals Wallace earned earlier this season have been rescinded, which puts Sheed at 14.]
Every second technical foul Wallace receives the rest of the season will result in another one-game suspension. The count resets for the playoffs, but at their current pace, the Pistons won't be worrying about that either way. Adding insult to injury, Wallace can probably expect an additional fine for throwing that second towel onto the court, even if assistant coach Pat Sullivan absorbed most of the damage with his face. (Somewhere, Will Blalock suffered a flashback.)
David West missed the free throw after Wallace's first tech, but Chris Paul sunk the second. It's hard not to wonder the game might have gone down had Rasheed not given away an extra point and been available to help on the glass late in the game. Consider: it was a one-point game with 55 seconds left, and after New Orleans collected three offensive rebounds one possession, the Pistons were eventually forced to foul. By the time they got the ball back, they were down three with just six seconds left, losing the game after Walter Herrmann missed from long distance. On a lighter note ...
Wallace is notorious for his run-ins with referees, but now that I think about it, maybe his real problem is with towels. He's always throwing them at teammates (see: Sabonis, Arvydas; Maxiell, Jason) not to mention defenseless cameraman (if you're in an office setting, beware his salty language):