How Big Of A Positive Impact Can Chris Wilcox Have On The Celtics?

Jared Wickerham

The Celtics have been labeled a jump shooting team for years, and since some of the better jump shooters are struggling this season, (Bass, Terry, etc.) the Celtics are in need of more points in the paint. For the season, the Boston Celtics average 34.7 points in the paint. This is 24th in the league.

Being able to consistently score in the paint, opens up shots on the perimeter. The Celtics have dropped in 3-point % as of late. They are now ranked 22nd in the NBA at close to 35%. The Celtics have great shooters, but the 3-point shots haven't been falling the way they should, especially with Jason Terry, and I believe part of that has to do with the way the defense has to play the Celtics. Other than Garnett, the Celtics don't demand a double team in the low post, and so that allows the wing defenders to stay at home to guard their man. I'm not saying that Wilcox will start to attract double teams, but he finishes too well around the basket for defenses to play single coverage for the entire game.

Chris Wilcox finishes around the basket as good as anybody in the league in my opinion. Wilcox shoots a whopping 84.8% "At-Rim". The only issue is that he doesn't get many attempts, he only attempts about 2 shot attempts "At-Rim" per game this season. Overall for the season though Wilcox shoots at an impressive 71.4% from the field, but he only averages 4.7 points. In his defense however, Wilcox only plays a little over 13 minutes a game, and so if he was able to get more playing time as well as more touches, this should spell good news for the Celtics. Collins has been putting in solid minutes, but he's not as offensive-minded as Wilcox, and of course you have to consider how mobile Wilcox is compared to Collins.

Defense seems to be a significant issue with Wilcox, he allows 105 points per 100 possessions, which was a lot lower than it was last season (98). It's a similar issue to what's happening with Brandon Bass, however perhaps Wilcox will also be inspired by the way Avery Bradley gets on the ball defensively. Being able to be as efficient a scorer as Wilcox, is a type of defense in it's own way. Wilcox doesn't miss many shots, and so that doesn't allow the opposing team to grab defensive boards and run on the break. Wilcox has an offensive rating of 125, which is the highest of his career.

When it comes to rebounding, Wilcox isn't too much to look at, however he grabs about 8% of the offensive rebounds which is tied with Bass, and only below Jared Sullinger if I'm not mistaken. I only bring this up because, even though Sullinger and Bass are good offensive rebounders, Wilcox has the best chance of actually grabbing the offensive board, putting it back up and in, or getting fouled, where he's managed to shoot 76% for the season. Like I said before though, the fact that he misses very few shots, is part of the reason why his rebounding numbers may not jump out at you. While Wilcox is on the floor, the Celtics have an eFG% of a little over 51%, and an eFG% of 49.6% per 48 minutes while he's off the court. The difference in eFG% may not be that large, however it's always better to make more shots than you miss right?

In no way do I expect Wilcox to be a superstar, but since it looks as if Doc Rivers is shying away from the small ball lineups that he was attached to towards the beginning of the year, I believe Wilcox will play more minutes, and thus have more of an impact on the court.

What are your thoughts? How big of an impact can Chris Wilcox have? Should the Celtics continue to shop around for another big? (Shout out to Reyquila for making me correct the title).

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