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Celtics Notebook

Wilcox’s strained calf puts him on sidelines

Celtics big man out three games

By Gary Washburn
Globe Staff / January 15, 2012
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INDIANAPOLIS - Just when it appears Chris Wilcox is beginning to carve out a role with the Celtics, he gets hurt.

It happened again Friday night when he left the 88-79 loss to the Bulls at TD Garden with a left calf strain. He will miss at least three games, robbing the team of a useful big man off the bench.

Wilcox already had missed three games with a left shoulder strain he sustained in the season’s second game.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers appears perplexed with Wilcox, who has maddened many coaches with his eye-popping athleticism and a penchant for disappearing in stretches. Against Chicago, he scored 4 points in five minutes, including a streaking dunk off a pass from Rajon Rondo. And then he got hurt.

“I had a conversation with Chris today and I told him what we needed of him,’’ Rivers said before the Celtics’ 97-83 loss to the Pacers last night. “Hopefully we can help him turn the light on here. We saw what we wanted out of him [Friday], and then he got hurt.’’

The Celtics were banking on Wilcox to provide energy and rebounding off the bench, but he has played just 53 minutes this season, totaling 11 points.

Garnett back at it Kevin Garnett limped out of the Garden Friday night and refused to talk about his ailing left ankle. But he bounced back last night and was in the starting lineup, scoring 21 points with five rebounds in 29 minutes. Garnett was more concerned about the team’s 4-7 start, which prompted Rivers to call a meeting prior to the game to remind players of their responsibilities.

“I think it was most needed,’’ Garnett said. “He talked about guys’ roles on the team and what he expected from each guy, out loud in front of everybody and it was good. I think it was beneficial. For myself it gave me a reassessment of where I stand with everything here.’’

Believe in Green Pacers center Roy Hibbert played three years next to former Celtics forward Jeff Green. The two helped take Georgetown to the Final Four in 2007. They remained close when Green entered the draft and Hibbert stayed in college for his senior season.

They also worked out together extensively last summer at Georgetown, Hibbert fully confident Green would regain the form that made him a contributor in Oklahoma City. However, Green won’t get that chance this season because of an aortic aneurysm, for which he had surgery. Green is expected to return to the NBA next season, according to his agent, David Falk, and Hibbert said their friendship has grown even stronger.

“It seems like he’s upbeat and I want to see him get better and get out there and play again,’’ Hibbert said. “I was really surprised how he’s taking this and I wish him the best.

“I told him any time he wants to come out to Indiana and stay at my house and kick it like we were back at Georgetown [he can].’’

Hibbert said he was stunned upon hearing about Green’s fatigue and sluggishness because of their summer conditioning.

Homecoming game It was a homecoming for former Purdue standouts E’Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson, who played four years together for the Boilermakers. Johnson also starred at Franklin Central High School, delighted the crowd with a garbage-time dunk. Moore played 20 minutes and scored career-high 7 points. Rivers said Moore will receive increased playing time with the injury to Keyon Dooling, who missed his second consecutive game with a right knee strain . . . Sasha Pavlovic, who Rivers revealed has a wrist sprain, was on the inactive list . . . Marquis Daniels registered another DNP-coach’s decision and appears to have lost his minutes to Mickael Pietrus . . . The Celtics scored 24 first-quarter points, their highest total since Jan. 1 vs. Washington. In the previous five first quarters, the Celtics were shooting 33 percent from the field and averaging 16.6 points, topping 18 points just once in that span.

Gary Washburn can be reached at gwashburn@globe.com.

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