Wilcox (thumb) could return Wednesday vs. Hornets

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Wilcox (thumb) could return Wednesday vs. Hornets

WALTHAM One of Rajon Rondo's favorite above-the-rim targets Chris Wilcox, may return to action Wednesday night against New Orleans.

Wilcox, still on the mend from a right thumb injury, was in uniform for Boston's 100-89 win over Charlotte on Monday but did not play (coaches decision).

"He could've played (against Charlotte) but we really didn't want him to," said C's coach Doc Rivers. "Eddie (Lacerte, the C's head trainer) didn't want him to."

Because of Wilcox's history of injuries, Boston is being overly cautious in bringing him back into the fold too soon.

Wilcox acknowledges playing the waiting game has been difficult at times, but the pain of not being able to get out and perform is lessened when the team is winning.

"At the end of the day, you definitely want to be out there and help," Wilcox said. "Just take it one day at a time. Right now, we're rolling."

The Celtics (20-17) have won six straight in large part because of the second unit.

Wilcox, who was Kevin Garnett's backup prior to his injury, has seen his minutes distributed between rookie Jared Sullinger and veteran Jason Collins.

As far as how much -- if at all -- he'll play against the Hornets, both Wilcox and the C's say that remains up in the air.

"He'll be available tomorrow for sure," Rivers said. "Whether he plays or not, we'll see."

Prior to his injury, Wilcox was leading the Celtics in dunks (20) while playing limited minutes.

Most of his above-the-rim flushes came on alley-oop tosses from Rajon Rondo.

With the Celtics playing better defensively, there are more opportunities than ever to get out and run in transition which is where Wilcox has been most effective.

"Like I said, I just want to do whatever I can to help this team win," Wilcox said. "For me, that's what this is all about: winning."

Former Celtics teammates praise Garnett's passion and intensity

Former Celtics teammates praise Garnett's passion and intensity

WALTHAM, Mass. – Like so many players who have spent part of their NBA journey having Kevin Garnett barking in their ear words of encouragement or just telling them to get the hell out his (bleepin’) way, you can count Avery Bradley among those who will miss the man affectionately known as ‘Big Ticket.’

Garnett recently announced his retirement after 21 NBA seasons, leaving behind a legacy that includes an NBA title won with the Boston Celtics in 2008.

Among the current Celtics, Bradley is the only current member of the team who played with Garnett in Boston.

When Bradley got the news about Garnett’s retirement, he said he sat down and wrote Garnett a letter.

“To let him know how much I appreciate him, how special he is to me,” said Bradley who added that his relationship with Garnett was impactful both on and off the court. “Kevin’s just an amazing person.”

Leon Powe, a member of the Celtics’ championship team in 2008 with Garnett, echoed similar praise about his former teammate.

“As a teammate, as a player, KG meant the world to me,” Powe told CSNNE.com. “Intensity … he brought everything you would want to the game, to the practice field, he was just non-stop energy.”

And when you saw it time after time after time with him, pretty soon it became contagious.

“The intensity just motivated every guy on the team, including me,” Powe said. “It made you want to go out and lay it out on the line for him and the team. You see how passionate he is. You see he’s one of the greats. And when you see one of the greats of the NBA going hard like that all the time, you’re like ‘Man, why can’t I do that? It trickled down to me and every young guy on the team.

Powe added, “He brought that every single day, night, morning, it didn’t matter. He brought that intensity. That’s all you could ask for.”

And Garnett’s impact was about more than changing a franchise’s fortunes in terms of wins and losses.

He also proved to be instrumental in helping re-shape the culture into one in which success was once again defined by winning at the highest levels.

“KG has had as big an impact as anybody I’ve been around in an organization,” said Danny Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operations. “The thing that stands out the most to me about KG is his team-first mentality. He never wanted it to be about KG, individual success to trump team success. He lived that in his day-to-day practice. That’s something I’ll remember about him.”