Chris Wilcox put his fingerprints all over the game last night, making me wish the rest of the Celtics played with the heart and energy he did coming off the bench. Wilcox played only four minutes, but his block on one end leading to an and-one on the other set the tone for the rest of the game.
Beginning the season his medical history was the biggest story, coming back from heart issues, and suffering from back spasms throughout the preseason. The University of Maryland product got lost in the shuffle a bit, falling behind the younger Sullinger and the battle-tested Bass and Garnett in the front-court rotation. It was out of sight, out of mind for many fans when thinking about the front court this season. It was easy to forget the energy that Wilcox brought to the Celtics, as he only played about a half of a season in green before this season.
Coming from a bench that has been underperforming thus far, he lit the fuse (along with improved play from JET) the Celtics have been looking for from their second unit all season. He cared, and he cared a lot. Kevin Seraphin was getting whatever shot he wanted, going back to their previous meeting over the weekend. Wilcox showed him that the path the fantasy gold (I toyed with picking Seraphin in my ten-team league) was going to be a little more difficult. KG finished the job to close out the big game, coming up with a huge steal followed by forcing Seraphin into a tough shot.
Wilcox played Celtic’s basketball last night. The first time I can completely and confidently say that about a player thus far this season.
I know it was only four minutes and it was against the Wizards who are missing their two best players in Nene and Wall. I know it’s easier to give it your all when you know a long period of sitting on the pine are soon to follow. All of that being said, until last night none of the bench players have been able to light a fire under the team the way CW did.
Excuse my excessive gushing, maybe it’s my bias as a Maryland Terps fan, maybe its my irrational and continual soft spot for the Celtic’s players who are fighting for minutes, but I love what Wilcox brought last night. The rest of the C’s could use a drink or two from whatever Wilcox is drinking, because it seems to be working.