Doc Rivers had no idea why Marquis Daniels was pulling up for a corner 3 with the game tied at 90. All Marquis Daniels knew was that the shot clock was down to three seconds, so he pulled it.
The shot splashed through, breaking the tie, and after a couple of Nate Robinson free throws, the rest of the Celtics 96-92 win was a formality. Daniels said at the start of training camp that he spent the summer working on his perimeter shooting. That was the only shot he took from outside all night, and he was able to knock it down.
“I just tried to make at least 500 to a thousand a day, just 3s,” Daniels said. “Just trying to better myself.”
Daniels has the luxury of playing without the ball now that Robinson and Delonte West are in the back court for the second unit. He went 4 of 8 from the floor and scored 9 points as the reserves carried the load for the Celtics. Rivers said he wants to find more ways to utilize Daniels, who fell out of the rotation at the end of last season.
“He’s healthy, he’s playing pretty hard and it was a big shot for him,” Rivers said. “We want to keep posting him more. I don’t think we’re getting enough of that out of him. We have to go to him, which I didn’t think we did a very good job of. But he has to learn how to hold his position better.”
As far as his feelings on hitting the post after spending the summer working on the perimeter, Daniels was fine with it.
“Just taking advantage of all my situations,” Daniels said. “Trying to utilize my height and my size on the block so he can get me more active in the game.”