BOSTON (CBS) – Chris Wilcox’s motto is a pretty simple one.
“If you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready,” he said following Boston’s 100-94 overtime win over the Wizards on Wednesday night.
Wilcox was only on the floor for less than four minutes against Washington, but he was certainly ready when Doc Rivers called his number.
Wilcox, who has just 15 minutes of playing time so far this season, entered late in the third quarter with the game tied 56-56. The sluggish Celtics had just fought back after trailing at halftime, and needed a little energy on the floor.
What followed is exactly what the doctor ordered for Boston, who went on a 10-2 run with Wilcox on the floor. He ran on transition, attacked the basket, and cleaned up the boards. In all, he finished with six points, a pair of rebounds and a blocked shot. He found his way to the charity stripe five times knocking down four of them, and left the floor at +8.
It may have been just a quick burst, but the Celtics credit Wilcox’ contributions with turning the game around.
“I thought Chris Wilcox saved the game for us, single-handedly, with his effort,” Rivers said after the win. “I thought it was obvious. He didn’t do anything but play hard and play with great effort.”
“Wilcox really changed the game for us,” said captain Paul Pierce, who finished the night with 15 points on 2-for-12 shooting. “There are going to be nights when some guys aren’t going to play, and other nights when guys get the call. They may be sitting there all night but when they get the call they have to be ready. That was an example tonight.”
Wilcox has played sparingly over the first four games of the season following a summer of rehabbing from heart surgery. He quietly rejoined the Celtics this off-season and then battled a bad back in training camp. He knows his role will change on a night-to-night basis, but the 10-year veteran understands what he needs to do when his name is called off the bench.
“We all have roles on this team. We all have to be ready; you never know when your number is going to be called,” he said after the win. “I just had to go out there and bring energy… I just went out there and played hard and great things happened.”
Chris Wilcox On Being Ready:
Last season, Wilcox proved to be a valuable asset for the Celtics. After serving as the team’s starting center early on, he gave them an energetic big off their bench. Before his season ended in March, Wilcox formed a great relationship with Rajon Rondo on the floor, giving the electric point guard a big man to run with. That was on display Wednesday night, when Wilcox and Rondo turned a Celtics steal into a fast-break basket that put Boston up 62-56.
While his game is not 100-percent where he wants it to be, Wilcox said Wednesday night’s performance will give him plenty of motivation moving forward.
And while he’s not quite sure when his number will be called next, Wilcox will be certainly be ready when the time comes.