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Wallace Repeats Game 2 Promise

From Associated Press

Guarantees were in vogue Sunday at the Eastern Conference finals, Rasheed Wallace again promising that the Detroit Pistons will defeat the Indiana Pacers in Game 2.

“That’s all I’m saying, people. We will win Game 2,” Wallace announced, repeating the second sentence several times upon his entrance to practice.

Wallace issued that same guarantee Saturday night after the Pistons dropped Game 1 of the best-of-seven series, which resumes tonight.

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Indiana Coach Rick Carlisle and his players acknowledged taking note of the boast but gave no indication they took offense.

Wallace is the latest in a long line of athletes -- beginning with quarterback Joe Namath of the New York Jets at the 1969 Super Bowl against the Baltimore Colts -- to utter the dreaded “G” word.

Last week, Dwyane Wade, Rafer Alston and Malik Allen of the Miami Heat failed to deliver on their guarantee of forcing a Game 7 against Indiana in the second round.

“I guarantee that there’s going to be a Game 2, and that someone’s going to win it. And I guarantee that Rasheed will probably be in the game and I won’t,” Pacer forward Scot Pollard quipped.

“I guarantee we’ll be wearing white jerseys and they’ll wear their road jerseys. If nobody wins, the fans will get their money back -- that’s a guarantee.”

Wallace, historically uncooperative with reporters, had little else to say other than repeating the statement: “We will win Game 2.” A question about his ailing left foot was met with silence.

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If USA Coach Larry Brown had his way, Reggie Miller would be making clutch three-point baskets -- such as the one he made in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals -- in Athens this summer.

Miller said Sunday that he’s flattered by Brown’s desire to have him on the Olympic team, but wavered on whether he would accept an invitation.

“I’m a little too old for that,” the 38-year-old Miller said. “It’s quite an honor. I’m not saying no.

“But right now, I’m just in the moment in the Eastern Conference finals. I’ll evaluate everything after this.”

Miller showed everyone Saturday night, at Brown’s expense, why he would be an asset to the Olympic team.

After missing his first six shots from the field, he drilled a three-pointer with 31.7 seconds left to propel the Pacers to a 78-74 win over Brown’s Pistons and a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Before Game 1, Brown said he had been “begging” the USA basketball selection committee to pick Miller because he would bring veteran leadership and an uncanny ability to make the big shot.

“He would be great with all the guys leaving,” Brown said.


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