What has been a difficult five-week period for Gerald Wallace only got harder on Wednesday evening.
The 12th-year small forward, who has said publicly recently that his confidence is waning, suffered a left heel contusion early in the second quarter of a 101-93 win at the Boston Celtics that inched the Nets closer to securing the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference and home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
The injury occurred early in the second quarter as Wallace attempted to get around a Chris Wilcox screen near the top of the key. The two collided and at first, it didn't look like much. Wallace checked out with 9:09 to play in the first half and needed to be carried to the locker room by Brook Lopez and Reggie Evans. In 15 minutes, he shot 1-for-3 and finished with just two points.
Wallace is 3-for-35 from 3-point range dating back to March 6 and has hit just one of his last nine attempts. In Saturday's home win over the Charlotte Bobcats, he didn't attempt a shot in 31 minutes, which prompted him to tell the New York Post that his ‘confidence is totally gone’ and ‘I lost the confidence of the coaching staff and my teammates.’
He did not appear to lack confidence at the outset on Wednesday, hoisting up a 3-pointer on the game's very possession, followed by a second attempt from deep just 1:14 into the game.
Wallace's status moving forward is unknown at this point, but he did leave the arena in a walking boot. The Nets are off on Thursday and will hold shootaround on Friday morning at Bankers Life Fieldhouse before taking on the Indiana Pacers.
Even if Wallace's offensive funk continues into the postseason, the Nets still need him on the floor. He remains their best perimeter defender and even if he isn't scoring, he is a high energy guy who generally wreaks havoc down low and on the glass, as evidenced by his tip-dunk off a Joe Johnson miss late in the second quarter for his only bucket.
As noted throughout his career, the fact he plays with reckless abandon leaves him susceptible to injuries. Affectionately nicknamed 'Crash' thanks to that style of play, Wallace has missed 10 games this season due to a variety of injuries.
Josh Newman is SNYNets.com’s Field Reporter. Follow him on Twitter for up to the minute news and banter on all things related to the Brooklyn Nets and the NBA