Gerald Wallace treating his ankle with an unnecessary walking boot.

One of the bright spots in a lack luster preseason had to walk around in a protective boot on Sunday in order to help heal a sore ankle. Apparently it's nothing major:

"It’s good," Wallace said, looking down at the boot. "I just want to get out of this boot. I don’t really have to wear it. I’m going to keep the stress off my ankle until the shot can get it comfortable. That was the only shot. I sprained my ankle the first game of the season (last year) and that kind of threw me off from there."
(rest of the link here).

Good thing it's nothing major. If the Celtics' true goal is to make the playoffs, Gerald Wallace will be a crucial part of the playoff-run. This is the player that surprisingly led the Celtics preseason team in scoring at 11.5 points a game, 3 rebounds and 3 assists shooting a respectable 45.3% from the filed, and 28.6% from 3-point range in 26.5 minutes.

That last sentence was interesting too. He sprained his ankle the first game of last season, and he said that, that threw him off for the rest of the season. Last season needless to say was a tragic one for Wallace. His offense was nowhere near what people were expecting of him, and Wallace even went on to admit that his confidence was shot, because he felt that if he made a mistake he'd get pulled out of the game so he was extremely reluctant to shoot.

This was probably why he only had two games all last season where he ended the night with over 20 points (Detroit- 25 points, and Magic- 20 points). Hopefully once his ankle heals properly, he won't go into this season like he did last season where his offense was hindered from the jump. Even if his ankle wasn't completely healed, the Celtics aren't exactly competing for a championship, and this is one of the reasons why this upcoming season will be interesting: There are no real expectations.

Teams in the East like the Bulls, Heat, and Pacers all have championship aspirations, and so if they under-perform for any reason, the media will get at them, a lot like how they got at the Nets for losing to a severely injured Bulls team last season, despite having home-court advantage. For the most part, many people don't see the Celtics as a playoff team so if the Celtics don't make the playoffs, it'd barely be considered news because so many people have already written them off as 10-12 seed in the East anyway. However, if they do manage to play well enough to snatch a playoff spot, then it becomes a big deal because they were counted out since the off-season.

I think Gerald Wallace couldn't ask for much better conditions. He's on a team where very little is expected of them, but at the same time they have playoff aspirations as well as a dependence of him if they want to make those playoff hopes come true.

What are your thoughts? Can Gerald Wallace bounce back from last season, or was he using that ankle as an excuse, and this is really the kind of player he is now?