Wilcox rounding into form with Celtics

670060.jpg

Wilcox rounding into form with Celtics

BOSTON As a former NBA lottery pick, Chris Wilcox is used to being an NBA starter.

But he understands his role with the Boston Celtics is one in which he'll come off the bench most nights. And depending on how that goes, he might crack double digits - in minutes played.

However, on Sunday the Celtics once again found themselves short on bodies and long on providing opportunities to guys who normally come off the bench. Guys like Wilcox.

And the veteran once again made the most of his increased role in helping the Celtics defeat Chicago, 95-91.

Wilcox, who got the start because Jermaine O'Neal (left shoulder) and Brandon Bass (left knee) were out, responded with 11 points, nine rebounds and a blocked shot.

His success was in part due to a renewed focus by the Celtics to get out and run as much as possible; bigs included.

"I knew what I had to do tonight," Wilcox said. "Their bigs, I had to run them and that's what we did all night."

And the C's looking to run more plays well into what has been one of Wilcox's strengths throughout his career.

Rajon Rondo, who tallied his second triple-double of the season (32 points, 15 assists, 10 rebounds), was able to find a number of teammates in transition - including Wilcox.

Rondo's alley-oop to Wilcox with 5:08 to play, capped off a 9-1 spurt that put the Celtics ahead, 86-74.

"Chris was phenomenal with his speed," said coach Doc Rivers.

Kevin Garnett has competed against Wilcox for a number of years when both were in the Western Conference.

You can count Garnett among those happy to now call Wilcox, a teammate.

"He played very confident," Garnett said. "He's been in this league for a while. He knows how to play. He plays hard. He knows his role. And the reason we win is because guys know their role and they know their role well."

And while that role may vary from one game to another, one thing remains a constant with Wilcox: staying ready.

"You never know, coming off the bench, you might get one chance (to start)," Wilcox said. "So you have to make the best of it. Good things happen when you play hard."

Gronk: 'Can't wait to compete again and play ball'

Gronk: 'Can't wait to compete again and play ball'

Rob Gronkowski's been having more than his share of fun this offseason, based off what we've seen on social media, but he sent out a Tweet Sunday night that makes it sound as if he can't wait for training camp to begin.

Gronkowski played in only eight games in 2016 because of back issues that eventually required surgery, and missed all of the Patriots' run to the Super Bowl championship.

Of course, if you check Gronk's timeline beneath his 'I-can't-wait-to-start-playing-again' Tweet, you'll find a) a couple of hypes for his new show MVP, b) a re-Tweet in which he's helping Mojo Rawley get ready for Wrestlemania, and c) quasi-ads for the various products he endorses.

Merloni: Pablo Sandoval is the key to the bottom of Red Sox order

Merloni: Pablo Sandoval is the key to the bottom of Red Sox order

The guys on The Baseball Show discuss Pablo Sandoval lighting it up in spring training and if he could continue that in the regular season.