Lineup Watch: First sub is first-rate
Early returns are extremely encouraging for Boston. Over the past four games since the trade deadline, a Wilcox lineup playing alongside four starters in Avery Bradley, Courtney Lee, Paul Pierce, and Brandon Bass, is the team's third-most commonly used lineup (11 minutes). The unit has been super effective, owning an astronomical offensive rating of (162.2 points per 100 possessions) and being just as effective on the defensive side (a rating of 82.3).
It's an insanely small sample size, but the Celtics are plus-18 with that that early-sub lineup, shooting 73.7 percent from the floor and not committing a single turnover. It's an encouraging sign that Boston can play at a high level without Garnett on the floor.
Dig deeper with the NBA's stats site and Boston's two-man lineup when Wilcox and Bass share the floor is plus-13 in 41 minutes together over the last four games. Most importantly, they've been a competitive rebounding tandem (a defensive rebound rate of 75 percent pairs nicely with a robust offensive rebound rate of 26.3 percent).
The already small four-game sample is further skewed by the fact that Garnett sat out the first game post deadline in Phoenix. But the bottom line is that the Celtics are having success with Wilcox on the floor (plus-28 overall over in plus/minus over the last four games) and his ability to pair with both Bass and Jeff Green has been important to that outcome.
Play Podcast Patriots CB Kyle Arrington talks about recovering the onside kick in the victory over the Browns, his team's comeback wins, New England's reaction to Rob Gronkowski's injury and more.
Play Podcast ESPN NFL analyst Trent Dilfer dishes on the impact of Rob Gronkowski's injury, Tony Romo's style of play, Chip Kelly's coaching, Robert Griffin III's struggles and more.
Play Podcast ESPN NFL analyst Tim Hasselbeck talks about the quality of officiating, Wes Welker's health, Rob Gronkowski's injury, the state of the Redskins and more.
Play Podcast ESPN NFL analyst Ron Jaworski discusses how Rob Gronkowski's injury could affect the Patriots' playoff success, the Eagles' offense, Peyton Manning's throwing style and more.
Play Podcast Mike Greenberg and Cris Carter cover Week 14 of the NFL season, including Rob Gronkowski's injury, Panthers-Saints, Peyton Manning's big day, the drama in Washington and more.
Play Podcast Two-time World Series champion Johnny Damon dishes on Jacoby Ellsbury's decision to sign with the Yankees, what moving from Boston to New York is like and more.