Stiemsma starts, O'Neal (hamstring) sits; Wilcox returns

Stiemsma starts, O'Neal (hamstring) sits; Wilcox returns
January 3, 2012, 12:13 am
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BOSTON One guy returns, another goes out.

It's looking like it's going to be that kind of season for the Celtics, with Chris Wilcox (shoulder) returning to the lineup tonight while Jermaine O'Neal (hamstring) will be out.

Replacing O'Neal in the starting lineup will be rookie Greg Stiemsma.

"I'm ready to go," Stiemsma said. "This whole time here has been about opportunities. I just look at it as another one."

This first NBA start adds yet another chapter to what has been an unexpected journey for the former D-League player.

"He's with the four best players, and that helps him," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "The one thing he does is block shots. I'm thrilled to death that he's shooting the ball. He can really shoot the ball. He doesn't have much of a post game, but he can spread the floor, and that's good."

Stiemsma leads the NBA with 3.3 blocked shots per game this season.