But fo’ real doe, you shoulda seen what Jermaine O’Neal woulda done with those alley oops.
Seriously, LOVED the effort from Chris Wilcox and JaJuan Johnson yesterday. They didn’t just win with effort and boyish exuberance. They won with effort and boyish exuberance against a Chicago front court known for out-working its foes.
“Obviously, we’re not playing with our MVP, but there’s definitely enough in this room to win a game like tonight. But I feel like today, we got out-competed,” Joakim Noah said after losing to Boston 95-91.
Playing without O’Neal and Brandon Bass, two of their three most important big men, the Celtics out-rebounded Chicago 44-42, blocked nine shots compared to Chicago’s two and managed to score 33 fast break points compared to Chicago’s seven, largely because Wilcox and Johnson (and everyone else) ran their lanes and made everything easier for Rajon Rondo. The Celtics are not an athletic team, but when Wilcox and Johnson sponge up minutes, they have two gazelles who A) can beat people down the court, and B) try like hell to beat people down the court, which is probably more important. Wilcox has heard the booming voice giving him advice from the TD Garden rafters: “If you run, Rondo will find you.”
I’m undecided whether I believe Wilcox should start in O’Neal’s place even when O’Neal’s healthy. But Doc Rivers has to give it some thought. Wilcox and Johnson aren’t perfect defensively and still do some not-so-great things on offense, but they provide an extra angle of attack to a Boston team which desperately needs track stars to run alongside Rondo.
(h/t on video: @MrTrpleDouble10)