The Celtics have been back in action for the past couple days in Waltham, re-adjusting from their overseas trip while preparing for a heavy upcoming preseason slate of games starting tomorrow night in Hartford, Connecticut against the Knicks.
At today’s practice in Waltham, potential lineups are still a lingering story after Jared Sullinger has seen plenty of time with the first unit this week. CelticsHub’s Rich Keefe was on the scene, Brandon Bass was asked about a potential switch, but was wise enough to stay about from starting any turmoil on the matter:
“I have no comment on that question. No comment. We’re going to keep getting better every day. We have to get better as a team, and I think Doc will make the best decision for the team,” Bass said.
Chris Wilcox also remained sidelined today at practice and has sat out for a week-plus now after taking a hard hit during the team’s second practice of the preseason. Greg Payne of ESPNBoston.com gets us caught up on Wilcox’s philosophy as he has to wait on the sidelines through back spasms:
“I missed the game so much I was just rushing into it, and like I said, things happen, and I think that just happened to slow me down and let me know, like, ‘You did just have surgery,’ so, like I said, I’ve just got to take it one day at a time and I’ve got to slow down.”
Wilcox said he first started having trouble with his back on the second day of training camp, before the team even left for their weeklong trip to Europe. He sat out both games over there, and has remained on the sideline since the team returned. He said he’s been doing anything he can to stay involved as the team continues to build on the opening days of training camp, even serving as a mock referee for some of the scrimmages.
“Well, they hold me out of a lot of stuff. They just want me to focus on my cardio and then just lifting weights and getting my core back strong, because that’s what really broke down during the surgery process,” Wilcox explained. “So, I’m just trying to get back in the swing of things. Every day they try to hold me out of everything, because, once I see it, and they’re talking trash, you know, that’s competitive, that’s me, that’s what I want, and it’s just hard for me to sit and watch. But at the end of the day, I know what I’ve got to do for the long run.”
Wilcox’s absence has given plenty of opportunities to Darko Milicic and Jared Sullinger early on here, so it will be interesting to see how Doc manages the minutes of those two once Wilcox returns to full strength. The great thing is the team has the luxury of being patient wit him for the time being with Darko, Sullinger and Jeff Green providing plenty on both sides of the floor to help out a front court that has desperately needed added depth for years now.
The C’s face off with the Knicks tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. in Hartford, as they kick off a three games in four night stretch. With the heavy slate, look for plenty of minutes for the second and third units as the starters get nights off here and there over the rest of the preseason.