Daniels blends in nicely

daniels and doc.JPG

If there’s one sign of how the season’s gone injury-wise it’s
that even though Marquis Daniels has been in a Celtics uniform since October,
when you see him on the floor and actually get an idea how good he is at the
little things like cutting to the basket or losing his defender, you’re still

You can, of course, credit that entirely to the fact that Daniels
has only played 25 of the Celtics 55 games. Last night, with Paul Pierce out
nursing a bad right thumb, Doc Rivers played Daniels with the starters. He
scored 14 points, and although he’s not the only one to thrive in Pierce’s
absences this season (see Tony Allen), he worked well with Rajon Rondo, who
called him “probably the best cutter in the game.”


“I think he can play with anybody,” Rondo said. “I love
playing with ‘Quis. I would say he’s probably the best cutter in the game. He moves
very well without the ball. His man loses sight of him. He’s a great back
cutter. Then of course, he’s a great defensive stopper. He’s probably our best
defensive player on ball, him and TA. He does his role really very well. He
doesn’t complain about anything. He just goes out there and does little things
and you love to play with a guy like that. “

Kevin Garnett said he and some of the others have been lobbying Rivers to tweak the lineups and get Daniels involved with the starters more.

“I don’t even think ya’ll have seen the best of Marquis,” Garnett said. “He’s been banged up with his hand, but he’s coming back.”

Obviously, the Celtics starting five is pretty much cemented, but Rivers said he liked what he saw when Marquis was on the floor, and that having another big small forward helps when the Celtics are in right spots because of injuries.

“Just think what last year – we’d have been in trouble,” Rivers said. “We didn’t have a back-up three for most of the year.  But it was great.  Great cuts, great movement, great defense on his part even though I didn’t think this was a great defensive game by us.  But we still win the game.”

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