The Boston Celtics' indefinite loss of Chris Wilcox to cardiac issues takes away not only a big man, but a player to run in transition with Rajon Rondo.
Over the season, Wilcox and Rondo have developed chemistry on the fast break. What started with bumbled passes and turnovers turned into quick dunks and easy baskets between the big man and point guard.
One, youve got to be able to run the floor, said Wilcox, 29. Two, youve got to be able to catch the ball. And three, youve got to be aware because you dont know where the pass is coming from.
Prior to being sidelined, Wilcox told CSNNE.com his three keys to playing in transition with Rondo.
1. Run the Floor: Being in transition makes it easier for me and it also makes it easier for him (Rondo). Then for the rest of the guys, theyre running the floor with me. Once I get down in the post, most of the time the whole defense will collapse and then we get Ray (Allen) for three, Paul (Pierce), all those guys. Ive always been a runner, getting out in transition, making the bigs run. Then when I got here, it was kind of difficult because I really didnt know what they were expecting from me until as of late. So now I know Ive just got to run the floor. Everything else is easy.
2. Catch the Ball: You dont know (when the pass is coming). Youve just got to be ready for anything. Youve just got to keep your eye on him and then youll see (laughs). Youve got to keep your eye on him and then when you see him going into his thing, it might be you, it might not be you because he might fake to you and kick it all the way to the three-point line. We just get a lot of our chemistry from playing. You cant watch film on him because hes got all kinds of passes he might throw, so youve just got to be ready for everything and anything.
3. Be Aware: Communication is definitely big because without that, itll be tough for everybody. Wed just be coming down the court and you just hear everything Im open! Ive gotcha! Im trailing! We talk just so we can all be on the same page. He (Rondo) might call a play that only him and the first unit know from last year, so then Id be like, Let me know where I need to go. So we just try to get on the same page, communicate thing like that. Hes changed my game a lot because he makes it so much easier because all youve got to do is just be there and the pass is going to be there.
Wilcox is averaging 5.4 points and 4.4 rebounds this season for the Celtics. With center Jermaine ONeal (wrist) also sidelined, Wilcox had been playing an increased role off the bench as of late.
Tom Brady was getting hit from all sorts of different angles on Saturday night. Not only was he dealing with Texans pass-rushers Whitney Mercilus and Jadeveon Clowney, he was also catching social-media shrapnel from Earl Thomas and Ray Lewis.
Thomas was adamant that Brady had an easy road every year because he played in the AFC East. Lewis, meanwhile, got on Brady for complaining to officials when he thought they should have called a penalty for roughing the passer.
On Monday, joining WEEI's Kirk and Callahan program, Brady responded to both.
"I don't think I've ever been one to, you know, say something negative about anybody," Brady said of Thomas, who missed the end of the season with a broken leg. "It's just not my personality. I love Earl. I think he's a hell of a player. I really wish him the best in his recovery."
When it came to Lewis' critique, Brady acknowledged he complained to the officials. And he noted that it might've worked. Soon after he threw a fit when a flag wasn't thrown, the Patriots did pick up 15 extra yards when Clowney was tagged with a roughing-the-passer call.
"We had a lot of battles with Ray on the field," Brady said. "And yeah, I would love to try to make sure the officials are paying close attention. If we can get one of those 15-yard penalties, those are important."
We know how Bill Belichick feels about social media. For years now he's been openly mocking the names of different platforms.
How then would Belichick feel about one of his players streaming his postgame speech live to an online audience of thousands? Probably not great.
"That's against our team policy," Tom Brady told WEEI's Kirk and Callahan Show on Monday morning. "I don't think that would go over well with our coach."
Brady was referencing the video posted to Facebook Live by Steelers wideout Antonio Brown late Sunday night. With over 20,000 fans watching, Brown streamed the postgame locker room prayer as well as Tomlin's speech.
Tomlin called the Patriots a-holes, and he made note of the fact that because the Steelers-Chiefs game had been pushed to Sunday night the Patriots had a day-and-a-half more to rest and prepare than the Steelers did. Then when he spotted a player on his phone, Tomlin told his players to get off social media -- all while Brown continued to stream from behind a bank of lockers.
"Every coach has a different style," said Brady, who recently began using an Instagram account. "Our coach, he's been in the league for 42 years and he's pretty old school. He's not into social media, and I think he lets everyone know that. I think our team has a policy. We don't show anything that should be private because he feels when we are inside our stadium, inside the walls, there has to be a degree of privacy that we have. What's done in the locker room should stay in the locker room."