Wilcox shines in C's second straight win

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Wilcox shines in C's second straight win

BOSTON Chris Wilcox's locker stall is in a faraway corner, a location that takes longer to get to than any other.

It's a fitting spot for a player who for years has never quite seemed to be an easy one to reach.

But here in Boston, the veteran big man seems to not only have found a place where he's comfortable, but a fit that includes him in a prominent role.

Wilcox turned in yet another gem of a performance for the Celtics in their 102-96 win over Milwaukee.

For the second straight game, Wilcox tallied double-digit rebounds; this time snatching a game-high 13 for the Celtics.

Just to put his rebounding success of late into perspective, having back-to-back games of double-digit rebounds comes after he had not grabbed more than seven in any previous game with the Celtics.

"On this team we have a lot of scorer; everybody can score," said Wilcox, now the first big man off the bench with Brandon Bass starting in place of an injured Jermaine O'Neal (wrist). "What we lack is on the rebounding end, so that's where I try to pick my game up at."

But there are times when Wilcox needs a friendly reminder as to what he has to provide for the Celtics to be successful.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers said he got on Wilcox at halftime in Wednesday's win over the Bucks for not providing enough energy.

"That's who he is, and that's who he has to be for us," Rivers said. "His skill is energy for us."

Like most of the Celtics, the biggest issue with Wilcox is consistency.

"I told him last night, 'you've got to keep doing it every night. You can't do it one night and not the next. You know, you get my hopes up,'" Rivers said. "And so it was good to see him respond."

Wilcox, a former lottery pick who won a national championship at the Maryland, said his role with the Celtics is different than what it has been elsewhere.

"You got to adapt, every situation is going to be different," Wilcox said. "You got to adjust and do whatever you can to help win games."

Rivers said he doesn't believe Wilcox figuring out what he has to do and what his role is, is an issue.

"His role is pretty much defined," Rivers said. "His role is energy, rebounding, running the floor, setting picks, rolling, finishing. I mean, that's a simple role. But it's a hard role to do everyday, because it takes energy to do it."

Celtics fire a shot heard 'round the world

Celtics fire a shot heard 'round the world

CLEVELAND -- The Celtics' shocking 111-108, Game 3 victory over the Cavs on Sunday has clearly changed the narrative of the Eastern Conference finals.  (Those sweep references? Delete, delete, delete.)

CELTICS 111, CAVS 108

But the Celtic players aren't changing their narrative:

Us against the world.

“Everybody in this locker room on this team has been told we couldn’t do something or had somebody that really didn’t believe in us,” said Marcus Smart, who stepped in for the injured Isaiah Thomas and finished with a playoff career-high 27 points. “We just kind of put that together all in one, and we just . . . told each other no matter what happens we’ve got to be the hardest-playing team. We just have to go out there and play.”

And play they did.

"We decided were going to go out and play hard, swinging." said Avery Bradley, who hit the game-winning 3-pointer with less than a second left. "We never counted ourselves out."

"We have guys who have chips on their shoulders," said coach Brad Stevens. "We knew that Friday (their 130-86 Game 2 loss at TD Garden) was a disaster. But [that game] wasn't worth [four losses]. It was worth one. So we got back together."

As good as they feel about themselves right now, the Celtics are well aware that Game 4 will likely see a more aggressive showing by LeBron James and a Cavaliers team that will be much more locked into their its assignments than it was in Game 3.

That’s okay. Boston knew finding success in Cleveland wasn’t going to be easy . . . or pretty.

“It hasn’t been pretty, but I don’t think this is a team is a pretty team,” Celtics wing Jaylen Brown told CSNNE.com. “We just kind of get it done.”

And that mindset should serve them well in what should be another tough and rugged matchup in Game 4 on Tuesday.

“We’re happy and excited, but we didn’t come to just win one game,” Brown said. “We came to win two.”