|Filling the void left by Chris Wilcox||03.11.12 at 9:11 pm ET|
LOS ANGELES — What are the odds, Doc Rivers wanted to know, of losing two players because of a heart condition?
‘It’s not a great place. It’s scary. It really is. The chances of having one of these in a year is pretty minute,’ Rivers said before the Celtics took on the Lakers on Sunday. ‘The chances of having two is like, impossible. There’s a chance that may happen. We just have to wait and see.’
Already reeling from the loss of Jeff Green to heart surgery ‘ a loss that had a deep and a lasting impact on everything from the roster to the rotation ‘ the Celtics are preparing to be without Chris Wilcox, as well. Going back to his days with the Pistons, Wilcox has been tested regularly and something came up last week that forced more tests and evaluation.
‘I’d rather find it than not,’ said Rivers who was understandably vague about the exact nature of Wilcox’s condition. ‘At the end of the day we’re lucky and that’s what I told our team: That we’re very lucky that this happened and not unlucky. I think that’s the way you have to look at it and that’s how we’re looking at it.’
There is no timetable for Wilcox, although Rivers said they probably wouldn’t know definitively for at least week. He was able to see the team before they headed out on the trip.
‘He seemed like he was in good spirits,’ Brandon Bass said. ‘I wish the best for him. I’m praying for him. He’s a country boy, he’s tough. He’ll be all right.’
On the court, Wilcox’s absence leaves a huge hole in the middle for the Celtics. They had recently decided to go with a nine-man rotation and Wilcox was the first big man off the bench, backing up both the center and the power forward spots. His per-game averages of 5.4 points and 4.4 rebounds don’t nearly explain his importance, not to mention his occasional flashes of open-court brilliance.
‘I can’t say much about it but obviously team-wise it’s a hell of a blow for us,’ Rivers said.
Without Wilcox and Jermaine O’Neal, the Celtics are down to two veteran bigs: Bass and Kevin Garnett. Bass missed time with a knee injury, but has played well since he returned and Garnett’s minutes are closely-guarded. They need help just to get through the regular-season grind, but with the trade deadline looming, this doesn’t necessarily change the team’s approach. Read the rest of this entry »
|NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Oakland C Keith Benson||06.22.11 at 9:34 pm ET|
WEEI.com continues to provide daily insight and analysis on the 2011 NBA draft. This is one in a series of profiles of players who might be available for the Celtics to select with one of their two picks (25th and 55th overall).
School: Oakland (Mich.)
Weight: 230 pounds
Stats: 17.9 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 3.6 bpg
What he brings: Benson has a lot of athleticism considering his size and can run the floor well. He is a solid guy in a half-court offense. He can post up and has a nice hook shot, but also he has shown that he can shoot a mid-range jump shot and create his shot on his own. Benson is a solid rebounder on both ends of the court and plays the game with a great deal of intensity. One thing that Benson needs to work on is his strength. At only 230 pounds, he needs to get stronger so he can hold his own in the paint.
Where the Celtics could get him: First or second round
What they’re saying: ‘From that day on, boy, we knew that this kid, that he’s a long way away but he’s got it in him. It was the most unbelievable thing I’ve seen in the game.’ ‘ Oakland coach Greg Kampe, after a dunk Benson had in practice
Notes: The Detroit Free Press ran a profile on Benson, who likely will be the first Oakland player ever to be drafted. In 2011, he was named Summit League Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. He is the Summit League record-holder in blocked shots (371). In 2010 Benson was the Lou Henson Award winner, given to the nation’s top mid-major player. His nickname is “Kito.”