Wilcox taking a weight-and-see approach to return


Wilcox taking a weight-and-see approach to return

BOSTON The goal of most players entering a new season is to either slim down or maintain their weight. For Chris Wilcox, though, being called skinny is not a considered a compliment.

The 6-foot-10 big man clocked in at around 250 pounds last year. After undergoing season-ending heart surgery in March, his weight dropped to 227 pounds.

When I found out about it, maybe a week or two before my surgery it was hard for me to eat because my mind just stayed thinking about it, he told CSNNE.com. Then once I had the surgery and came home, I wason so many medications, I couldn't even eat anything so I had to just start trying to get an appetite again. It was kind of tough for me.

Seven months later Wilcox is up to 240 pounds, seven away from his goal of 247. A back injury has prevented him from continuing the training routine he hoped would increase muscle mass.

I was lifting 315 (pounds) last season, he said. I have to do light weight, heavy reps. Right now I do like135 (pounds), reps of 25, just to keep toned, but it's hard because I can't really go all the way down. 155 (pounds) is the max that I would even try.

One area Wilcox is not limited is in his diet. In fact, he is encouraged to eat. Still, the 30 year old is careful about maintaining a healthy intake. Instead of opting for fast food options to pack on some weight, he has chosen foods to do it in a healthy way. One of his biggest assets to the Celtics is his ability to run with Rajon Rondo and he doesn't want to feel slowed down once he returns to the court.

"I can eat whatever," Wilcox said. "I eat everything. I try to eat at least three meals a day. I've got to just try to keep eating and eating. Then I work out, take shakes, try to keep the weight on. I pile on the carbs but I want it to be healthy weight, I don't want it to be stomach weight."

Wilcox is being patient with his comeback. He wants to increase his strength and conditioning before playing again.

Last season Wilcox averaged 5.4 points and 4.4 rebounds in 28 games for the Celtics.

Celtics' team plane receives bomb threat


Celtics' team plane receives bomb threat

BOSTON -- There was a bomb threat to the Boston Celtics’ team plane to Oklahoma City on Saturday afternoon, but no one was injured.

The incident will be investigated by NBA security which will work in conjunction with the FBI on this matter which was one of several hoaxes called into airports across the country on Saturday.

News of the bomb threat was first known when Celtics forward Jae Crowder posted an Instagram photo showing players departing the plane with the caption, “BOMB THREAT ON US”.

Celtics officials declined to comment on the matter and instead referred all bomb threat-related questions to the league office.

Messages to the league office were not immediately returned.

Celtics' ball movement among NBA's best, with or without Thomas

Celtics' ball movement among NBA's best, with or without Thomas

BOSTON – When it comes to winning basketball, keep it moving – the ball that is – has become a staple of the Celtics this season. 
And lately they’ve had to do it without Isaiah Thomas, the team’s leading scorer at 26 points per game as well as their top assists guy (6.2) who will miss hish third game in a row Sunday in Oklahoma City because of a right groin injury.
The Celtics have split their first two games without Thomas, with the most recent being a 101-94 home loss to Toronto on Friday.
When it comes to this team and ball movement, fans are just as divided when it pertains to whether the Celtics move the ball better without the high-scoring Thomas in the lineup. 
Regardless of what fans think they know about this team and how they move the ball, the numbers paint a very clear picture that this team’s ball movement is among the best in the NBA, with or without Thomas in the lineup. 

And that will be important on Sunday against an Oklahoma City team that doesn’t rely on the ball swinging from one side of the floor to the other, nearly as much as the Celtics. 
The Thunder, led by MVP candidate Russell Westbrook, are dead-last in the NBA when it comes to passes made per game (267.1). 
Meanwhile, the Celtics are at the opposite end of the passing game spectrum, averaging 331.7 passes per game, which is second in the NBA (Philadelphia, 354.3).
And in the two games without Thomas, Boston has averaged 347.0 passes per game, which ranks second in the NBA in that period of time. 
In addition to missing his points and assists, the Celtics must also find ways to make plays in filling the void left by a player who has the ball in his hands a lot of the time. 
Thomas’ usage percentage (percentage of plays used by a player while he’s on the floor) of 32.9 percent ranks seventh in the NBA, ahead of notable stars such as San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard (30.9 percent), Portland’s Damian Lillard (30.8 percent), New York’s Carmelo Anthony (29.5 percent), as well as Cleveland’s LeBron James (29 percent) and Golden State’s back-to-back NBA MVP Stephen Curry (28.2 percent).
So, considering how involved Thomas has been in the team’s offense, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the numbers in terms of passing and ball movement are better without him than they are when he’s on the floor playing. 
What should be surprising is that the gap statistically without him, isn’t greater. 
Boston has been a top five team when it comes to assists this season, currently third in the league with 24.7 assists per game. In the past two games without Thomas, the Celtics’ assists numbers have risen to 26.5 per game, but that only ranks fifth in the league in that span.
When it comes to potential assists and secondary assists (a.k.a. the “hockey” assist), Boston’s numbers have improved slightly without Thomas as well, but in each category Boston is ranked second in the league. 
And that ranking is with, and without Thomas in the lineup. 
While it’s not clear if Thomas knows just how close the numbers in terms of ball movement are with and without him playing, he is acutely aware that there are some who believe they are a better team in terms of keeping the ball moving without him.
“I can’t control that,” Thomas told reporters on Friday. “At this point, I laugh about it. I know what I mean to my teammates. I know what I mean to this organization, to Brad Stevens.”