Chris Wilcox  doesn’t know when he’s getting into a game or for how long, so he’s come up with a motto to keep him fresh.
“If you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready,” Wilcox said after the Celtics ‘ 100-94 overtime win over the Wizards. “That’s my motto and that’s what I go by. I just go and work out hard and do whatever I’ve got to do, so when my number is called I’ll be right in the rotation and do exactly what the coach wants me to do.”
Wilcox stayed ready on Wednesday, as he came in with just over three minutes left in the third quarter and made the most of the four minutes he played. The power forward made his presence felt right away by blocking a Kevin Seraphin jump shot and drawing a foul on Jan Vesely to set up a pair of successful free throws. After a Rajon Rondo  steal, Wilcox put in a layup on which he was fouled, though he failed to make it a three-point play.
That missed free throw proved to be Wilcox’ only blemish on the night, as he dew another another foul late in the third and made both free throws. By the time he returned to the bench early in the fourth quarter, he had six points and two rebounds to go with his block, and the Celtics were a plus-8 with him on the floor.
Wilcox, of course, was limited to 28 games last season by a heart irregularity, as he and teammate Jeff Green  both underwent heart surgery for their conditions. He’s still easing his way back in after back issues in the preseason, but both Wilcox and his teammates can look at Wednesday’s performance as encouraging.
“I thought Chris played great for us tonight. He gave us great minutes,” said Kevin Garnett . “For he and Jeff, knowing their story, knowing their journey, it’s inspirational to be honest with everybody here. To get a chance to see someone still get a chance to do something that they love and do it passionately is moving, and I’m just glad he had a great night. He was able to help us, and I thought he turned the game around.”
Said Wilcox: “I’m trying to get back there. I’m not 100 percent where I want to be, but great things like this happen, and that’s motivation for me to keep going. Like I said, I just have to stay ready so I don’t have to get ready.”