Before the game, head coach Doc Rivers was informed that star reserve forward Brandon Bass would not be able to play due to injury. However, Doc was not worried because he knew the guys behind Bass could contribute and help Boston win their Sunday outing against Memphis. Once again depth saved Boston as Chris Wilcox and rookie JaJuan Johnson stepped in and gave Boston the boost that they needed in their 98-80 win.
Wilcox was once again an energy player for Boston. Wilcox ran up and down the floor all afternoon. He was rewarded by Rajon Rondo and his teammates often as he got easy baskets in the paint. Wilcox would finish with 12 points on 5-5 shooting. He hustled for every rebound recording two offensive and three more defensive. Wilcox also rotated well and played solid defense with active hands that led to a steal and a lot of bothered shots.
The rookie JaJuan Johnson also once again looked very impressive. He had full confidence in his shot and was not afraid to pull the trigger. He add a solid 10 points on 5-8 shooting off the bench. Johnson also looked very comfortable and started to show his natural defensive instincts. Johnson would grab three defensive rebounds due to great positioning and block two shots. Johnson is a natural shot blocker and watching him conduct his business in the paint was a great sign that he is feeling comfortable in his new home in the NBA.
The bottom line is an injury to a guy like Bass last year would have sunk Boston. They would have had to extend KG and Jermaine O’Neal’s minutes causing an injury risk and poor play by them down the stretch due to fatigue. This year Celtics president Danny Ainge has given Doc some solid options that are producing when called upon. This means despite age and injury, Boston will contend this year. Remember Go Green Or Go Home!!!!!!!