Chris Wilcox and Fab Melo are both close to returning to the court.
Another run in with a hotel door notwithstanding, Fab Melo hopes to pass his final concussion test today. The only question is whether he stays with the team or heads back to Maine to continue his triple-double tear. My guess is that with the Celtics in Boston for a five-game homestand over the next two weeks and the Red Claws playing in Springfield or at home virtually for the rest of January, Fab will spend most of his time at Waltham, commuting to the D-League for games, and whatever free time he has at the end of the C's bench.
Doc Rivers says Chris Wilcox is "ahead of schedule" in his return from a sprained UCL in his right thumb.— Boston Celtics (@celtics) January 10, 2013
Wilcox's return is a little more curious. He's coming back from that sprained thumb and doesn't know how it will react, but there's also some uncertainty of his role now. The Celtics have surged since returning from their west coast trip with their three-man big man rotation of Garnett, Bass, and Sullinger with the occasional cameo from Jason Collins. Rumors have also been swirling about bringing in another big man (Marcin Gortat, DeMarcus Cousins, etc.), but with the team playing well, I'm sure Danny's finger is at least off the trigger for now.
How will Wilcox fit in? Depending on the health of his hand, I think he's back to his 15-20 minutes per game. People forget how much energy he provided around the rim when he was playing. He wasn't the glass eater that Sullinger has been during the winning streak, but he ran the floor well and protected the rim with his size. He'll have an immediate impact however big or small, but really, the value of his presence is in the long term. The fewer minutes that KG logs in the regular season will keep him fresher for the playoffs, so even if the 5-5-5 plan gets shaved down to 4.5-4.5-4.5, that will help tremendously.
Plus, I can't wait for the next Rondo to Wilcox alley oop.
Chris Wilcox: Secret to a Rajon Rondo alley-oop (via Ben Rohrbach)