Opening Tip: Rasheed Wallace's return

Every weekday throughout the season, ESPNNewYork.com will tackle a burning question about the Knicks in our "Opening Tip" segment.

Today's Burning Question: With Rasheed Wallace set to take a big step forward on Friday, participating in a scrimmage for the first time, what can we expect from him next week when the regular season tips off, and beyond?

After four weeks of mostly conditioning work, Rasheed Wallace is ready for 5-on-5 action.

So with a guaranteed roster spot likely for Sheed, here are five things he'll provide the Knicks during the season:

1. Spreading the floor with his shooting. Throughout his career, Wallace has proven to be one of the best pick-and-pop and 3-point marksmen in the league. His 6-foot-11 frame, infinite range, and high, quick release make his shot extremely tough to defend against. With the Knicks having three seasoned point guards and Carmelo Anthony being an amazing attacker, Wallace should get plenty of good looks. If he, Steve Novak and J.R. Smith are ever on the court together, watch out. That would rival a Heat shooting lineup of Ray Allen, Rashard Lewis and Shane Battier.

2. Posting up. The Knicks also could set Wallace up on the low block, his second sweet spot in halfcourt sets. He has an almost unstoppable turnaround jumper, again helped by his height and high release point. While he's obviously lost some explosiveness at the age of 38, his strength, shooting ability and overall experience still give him an edge.

3. Defending. Wallace takes great pride in his defense, and he backs that up with his trash-talking. He's a very confident player and will say whatever is on his mind -- which will make some of the young bucks in the league, no matter how talented they are, a little uneasy going up against him. Speaking of trash-talking, the biggest thing the Knicks will have to be concerned about with Wallace on the court -- besides an injury, of course -- is him getting called for technical fouls. That will always be part of his legacy.

4. Toughening up the team when needed. While Tyson Chandler is clearly the defensive anchor, Wallace will be a very effective frontcourt sidekick. He'll be yelling things out to his perimeter players, and then gathering the guys together during dead balls and timeouts to share spirit and wisdom. Wallace is the kind of the person that if there's a pep rally going on, you want him to lead it.

5. Providing a locker room presence. Not only will his teammates enjoy having him around, the media will usually gravitate to him first to get a money quote. There isn't a more honest, hilarious and outspoken person on the team than Wallace, and he'll always keep it real, providing an update of what's going on with the team. That measuring stick will keep things in perspective and everyone in check.

How do you think Wallace will help the Knicks? Leave us your comments below.

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