Wilcox (thumb) could return Wednesday vs. Hornets


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."

First-place Celtics continue to focus on playing well, not standings

First-place Celtics continue to focus on playing well, not standings

WALTHAM, Mass. – When it comes to NBA standings, no Celtic pays closer attention to it than Isaiah Thomas.
But the 5-foot-9 All-Star is quick to say that while he’s aware of what’s happening with other teams record-wise, Thomas, like his teammates, isn’t obsessed with it, even with the Celtics (48-26) now in first place in the East following Cleveland’s loss at San Antonio on Monday.
“It’s a good feeling,” Thomas said. “It’s still not the end of the year; anything can happen. It’s a nice feeling to be the number one seed for once, but we just have to continue to control what we can control.”

The fact that Boston is even in position to finish with the best record in the East is amazing when you consider injuries and illnesses have forced them to use 13 different starting lineups this season.
And the preferred starting five of Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, Al Horford and Amir Johnson has played together 31 times and posted an impressive 24-7 record.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens has been consistent in his message that while having the best record in the East is nice, he’s more consumed with the team continuing to improve.
“It doesn’t mean a whole lot right now,” Stevens said of being in first place. “The whole idea is to make progress, get better every day and stay in the moment. You do that if you’re in last place trying to build up or whether you’re in a position where you’re fighting for seeding. Ultimately, we’ve been able to grow and get a little bit better. But I still think we can play a lot better. That’s where my focus is.”
And the same holds true for his players. Thomas knows how unusual this season has been for the Celtics, who continue finding ways to win despite frequently being short-handed.
The latest example of that involves forward Jonas Jerebko, who is questionable for Wednesday’s game against Milwaukee because of a sore left knee that limited him in Tuesday’s practice.
“It’s a long season. A lot of things can happen whether they be good or bad and we know that,” Thomas said. “We just try to withstand the storm we’ve had a few times this year, and continue to try and stay as positive as possible and we’ve done that. We’re in a good position right now. We just have to continue to take care of business.”
And that means steadily improving while piling up the wins, particularly against teams such as the Bucks (37-36), who are among a handful of teams that could potentially be Boston’s first-round opponent.
Milwaukee comes in having won 11 of its past 14 games.

“It makes the game that much more important,” said Celtics guard Avery Bradley. “Just like the Miami game. We want to let the teams know now, they go up against us in the playoffs, it’s no mercy. We’re going to play hard. We’re going to bring it every single night. We’re going to play Celtics basketball every single night. Them knowing that, we can scare a lot of teams if we’re playing the right way.”

Jerebko questionable for Wednesday against Bucks

Jerebko questionable for Wednesday against Bucks

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Celtics have spent most of this season playing short-handed and Wednesday’s game against Milwaukee will potentially be another one of those games.
Veteran forward Jonas Jerebko has a sore left knee and is considered questionable for the Bucks’ game.
“Jonas went through about half of [Tuesday’s] practice,” said Celtics coach Brad Stevens.
Jerebko has missed two games this season due to illness.
Because of Milwaukee’s length at seemingly every position, Jerebko’s ability to play both forward positions will be something the Celtics will surely miss if he’s unable to play.
This season, Jerebko has appeared in 69 games while averaging 3.9 points and 3.4 rebounds while shooting 44.1 percent from the field and 35.0 percent on 3’s.