Chris Wilcox: Secret to the Rajon Rondo alley-oop
|11.25.12 at 2:55 pm ET|
The secret to that Rajon Rondo-to-Chris Wilcox alley-oop that’s been so successful — despite just 33 games together as Celtics teammates — really isn’t all that complicated.
“It is what it is, man,” said Wilcox, whose averaging 13.1 points and 5.9 rebounds per 36 minutes. “I’m playing hard, just trying to be in the right spot at the right time, and good things happen. His No. 1 goal is to find us, to find the open man. All I do is just make it easier for myself and get to the right spot at the right time.”
Remarkably, 19 of Wilcox’s 21 field goals this season have come at the rim, where he’s making 86.4 percent of his shots (19-22 FG), and 15 of them have come from assists. The other four? All from offensive rebounds. He’s made a living from scoring around the basket — honing his alley-oop skills from guys like Andre Miller and Sam Cassell on the Clippers as well as Luke Ridnour and Earl Watson on the Sonics — but never like this.
“Rondo’s one of a kind,” said Wilcox.” I’ve been with some great point guards — Andre Miller, Luke Ridnour and Earl Watson — and they were basically the same kind of point guards. You just get to the right spot and good things happen. I’m just out there trying to be aggressive and trying to make things easier for him.”
It’s no coincidence Wilcox enjoyed his best seasons in Seattle, where he averaged 13.4 points in his only two full seasons on the Sonics. Pass-first point guards Ridnour and Watson combined to average 10.9 assists per game, including more than two-thirds of Wilcox’s five-plus field goal attempts at the rim per game.
Now, Rondo takes that recipe to a whole new level. Wilcox no longer plays 30-plus minutes a night, but he’s averaging the same number of shots at the rim per minute, still taking two per game. And just as Rondo’s career-high jump shooting (47.0 FG% beyond 10 feet) has opened the backdoor for Kevin Garnett, Wilcox has also benefited, converting 11-of-14 attempts as either a cutter or roll man.
“He draws all the attention,” said Wilcox, “and it makes it so much easier for me.”
His 12 dunks makes him the only Celtics player among the NBA’s top 30 dunkers, and 25 of those 30 average more than twice as many minutes as Wilcox. Denver’s JaVale McGee (31 dunks in 19.5 minutes a night), Utah’s Derrick Favors (15 in 24.1 MIN) and Milwaukee bigs Larry Sanders (13 in 22.9 MIN) and Samuel Dalembert (15 in 17.3 MIN) are the only other players on that list to play fewer than 25 minutes a night, and Wilcox plays just 13.3. He’s also one of only four players (Dalembert, Andrei Kirilenko, Tyson Chandler) in that group over 30 years old.
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