Opportunity for Wilcox to fill KG void
"You've just got to step up, guys have to step up," Wilcox said prior to practice on Monday. "I've got to step up and we've just got to go out there and compete. We've got to go out and play hard, run the floor. We can't be Kevin, but we've got to be ourselves and just go out there and bring energy."
Through 12 games in March, Wilcox has averaged only 14.8 minutes per game, which has translated to averages of just 4.3 points and 3.3 rebounds. The one encouraging stat for Wilcox this month? He's shooting 77.8 percent from the field, having missed only six of the 27 shots he's attempted. In fact, 25 of those 27 shots have come from less than five feet from the rim, and many have been generated in transition, where Wilcox is always most effective.
Wilcox might not produce the majority of his own offense -- 66.7 percent of his looks this month have been assisted by teammates (Jason Terry's accounted for the most) -- but his value still stands through his ability to stay open and finish around the basket.
The bigger test for Wilcox will come on the other side of the ball. Paul Pierce said prior to Monday's practice that defense still needs to be what the Celtics hang their hat on as they seek to break out of their current four-game losing streak. While Wilcox won't be able to make quite the defensive impact that Garnett can be counted on for on a nightly basis, he can be dedicated to his rotations and, perhaps more importantly, be a vocal presence on the floor. Boston still needs to communicate on defense, even without its loudest defender.
"We've all got to talk, and that's part of it," Wilcox said. "We've all got to talk, we've all got to communicate. It's good that we've got a couple practices right now that we can get on the same page, and I think that's going to help us out along this stretch. It's definitely going to take all the guys to step up and communicate. Kevin is more vocal when he's out there on the court, but now it's going to have to be other guys. Everybody has to talk, and we've all just got to be on the same page."
Play Podcast ESPN NFL analyst Tedy Bruschi weighs in on the responsibility Tom Brady shoulders for the Patriots, Rob Gronkowski's physicality and how New England will use Darrelle Revis.
Play Podcast Buster Olney talks to Alex Speier, Karl Ravech and Justin Havens about whether the Red Sox will move Jon Lester before the trade deadline, pace of play and much more.
Play Podcast NFL Films' Greg Cosell covers the Cowboys' defense, Rob Gronkowski's impact, Darrelle Revis' performance last season, the Giants' talent level and the outlook for the Cardinals.
Play Podcast Buster Olney and Keith Law talk about the Tigers' acquisition of Joakim Soria and whether it's wise to trade within the division. Plus, Matt Gelb on the Phillies' plans.