Wallace gums up about Nets

NEW YORK -- Before a reporter could even get through his first question, Gerald Wallace interjected.

"I don't want to talk about Brooklyn, so if you've got any questions about Brooklyn, I'm not going to answer them," he said.

Well ... umm ... so how about this weather?

As the Celtics (10-12) prepare to visit the Nets (6-14), reporters obviously wanted to know how Wallace felt about playing his former team. And while Wallace has been outspoken on plenty of topics, he has shown no interest in talking about his time in Brooklyn ever since training camp started. He maintained that Brooklyn silence on Monday after the Celtics went through an offday workout at Baruch College in the Flatiron District of Manhattan.

A reporter wondered if Wallace's gag order had come internally.

"That was suggested by my mom," said Wallace. "Keep my mouth shut. So I don't want to talk about it."

You'll remember Wallace got fined $10,000 by the NBA for dropping an expletive into his postgame thoughts after a tough loss to the Rockets. You can't help but wonder if he'd have a few choice words after what many perceived as a down year with the Nets.

Wallace did add, "Once [his mother] found out we play [the Nets on Tuesday], she was like, 'Keep your mouth shut.' She told me to put a piece of gum in my mouth, but they took all the gum off the table, so I'm just going to keep it to myself."

Wallace was, however, happy to expound on these surging Celtics, who have won six of their last eight games and sit atop the Atlantic Division (with a three-game lead over that team that Wallace won't talk about, no less).

Wallace said a hectic November, one that often left him exasperated by the team's inconsistencies, may have been the best thing for this young team. It forced them to bond and learn on the fly, and now it's translating to results on the court.

"Working in a new coach, putting in a new system, and then you add four or five brand new guys to the mix -- I think the first month of the season was a real true test for us," said Wallace. "We played almost, what, [18] games in November? Nineteen games [in the first 31 days]? So it was more of a learning on the job type of situation. I think we improved from it. We got better. We took a bump on the head the first four games. We got better from that. We had some setbacks, and we've came back from that, so I think we've gotten a lot better. That whole month of November was probably the best thing that could have happened to us as a young team."

So what is the ceiling for these transitioning Celtics? Wallace didn't want to look too far ahead, and dipped into the Brad Stevens process-oriented handbook for his answer.

"Our main thing is we just want to keep improving," said Wallace. "We want to keep getting better and better. We came out and had a great game against New York, but we also know we shot great [and] they didn't shoot good. It could easily have been the other way around, so we've got to keep improving, got to keep getting better offensively and keep getting better defensively."

Yes, Wallace didn't want to talk about the Nets, but let's just say that if he was picking a brand of gum to describe his emotions for Monday's game, he'd probably grab a pack of "Extra."