Archive for February, 2010

Daniels dedication contagious

Friday, February 26th, 2010

Marquis Daniels is sick.

Not sniffly nose sick, but that stay-in-bed-all-day kind of sick where you can’€™t help but feel bad for him when you see that pained look on his face.

Daniels has been battling the flu the entire week, but he still played on Thursday night against the Cavaliers. He started, in fact, in place of Paul Pierce.

He fought through picks, defenders, and illness. Daniels hustled for 31 minutes, defended LeBron James, grabbed three rebounds, and picked off a steal along the way.

‘€œHe did a great job,’€ said Glen Davis. ‘€œBeing sick is tough. He’€™s a competitor and he plays hard. But he went out there and did what he had to do.’€

After the game Daniels looked exhausted as he slouched at his locker. His voice was faint and he  simply shook his head when asked how he felt.

The Celtics will not practice on Friday. Daniels will wait until then to talk to the doctors about what he kind of activity he should or should not do.

But even though he is sick, it’€™s his dedication that’€™s most contagious.

‘€œI commend him because the last day or so he’€™s been somewhat shaky and not strong,’€œ said Ray Allen. ‘€œYou could tell that his energy was very low. So for him to be out there, I definitely commend him.’€

Fast Break: Celtics vs. Cavaliers

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Well, it happened again.

The Celtics blew a one-point fourth quarter lead and found themselves looking at a double-digit deficit down the stretch.

The Cavaliers simply had more hustle and more energy when it counted. They outscored the Celtics 35-14 in the fourth to take away a 108-88 victory in Boston.

Player of the Game: LeBron James carried his team the entire game. He had scored 32 of the Cavaliers 73 points after three and finished the night with 36.

Turning Point:The Cavaliers took a 75-74 lead off of a J.J. Hickson bucket and never looked back. Even with James on the bench, they stretched the lead and created a cushion for James when he returned.

- Marquis Daniels played 24 minutes starting in place of Paul Pierce. Despite battling the flu, he played strong defense against James early on and helped the Celtics maintain their first half lead.

- Kendrick Perkins and James got involved in a tiff in the fourth quarter. Perkins took offense to James’ foul, and Anderson Varejao stepped in to interject. Varejao got whistled for a technical.

- It was a night of debuts at the Garden. Former Celtic Leon Powe played his first game of the regular season while newly acquired Marcus Landry made his debut for the C’s.

- Ray Allen led the Celtics with 21 points. Rajon Rondo recorded a double-double with 19 points and 11 assists.

Third Quarter Wrap: Celtics vs. Cavaliers

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Third quarters have been causes for concern for the Celtics this season. The good news for the C’s is they didn’t blow the lead. The not-so-good news for the Celtics is the Cavs got back within one.

The C’s entered the third quarter up eight, 56-48. But the more LeBron James got to the basket, the smaller their edge got. The Cavs trailed just 74-73 heading into the fourth.

James scored 12 points in the quarter and got to the line seven times. (He made four attempts.) Ray Allen led the Celtics with seven points in the quarter, but Rajon Rondo added just one to his total (15 points).

The Celtics have contained James’ teammates so far, but no lead is ever guaranteed with a clutch player on the court late in the game.

Halftime wrap: Celtics-Cavs

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

At the half the Celtics lead 56-48. They shot 60 percent and held the Cavaliers to 43 percent shooting.

Rajon Rondo has 14 points and eight assists, while Ray Allen has 13 on 5-for-7 shooting and 3-for-3 from 3-point range. Kevin Garnett also had a big half with eight points and six rebounds. LeBron James leads all scorers with 21 points.

Doc Rivers played Rondo and Nate Robinson together in the backcourt for a significant stretch of the second quarter. The Cavalier guards presented an excellent opportunity for Rivers to try the alignment as Mo Williams and Delonte West don’t present matchup problems with their size. Robinson scored six quick points off jump shots on the pick and roll.

Shaquille O’Neal went to the locker room halfway through the second quarter. He will miss the rest of the game after suffering a thumb injury. Former Celtic Leon Powe made his season debut for the Cavaliers and received a standing ovation from the crowd. Powe had been rehabbing after knee surgery.

Help defense on King James

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Doc Rivers hinted before Thursday’s game with Cleveland that he planned to employ several different defensive strategies on LeBron James, including using one of his best big defenders on the big guard.

With Paul Pierce out for the second straight game with a sprained thumb and Marquis Daniels weakened with flu-like symptoms, Rivers was forced to get creative to come up with ways to defend the 6-8 swingman.

Tony [Allen]is the other guy right now, and then Marcus [Landry] maybe, Scal maybe, maybe Kevin [Garnett],” Rivers said. “We’ll find that out. We don’t know what Marquis can give us so we’ll just have to wait and see.”

First quarter wrap: Celtics-Cavs

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Welcome to the Rajon Rondo show where the Celtics guard dominated the first quarter and led them to a 31-21 lead.

Rondo had a hand in all of the Celtics first 21 points. He scored 10 of them himself and assisted on the other five field goals as the C’s made 10 of their first 13 shots before a Cleveland timeout. He finished the quarter with 12 points and six assists.

Paul Pierce did not play (thumb, flu) and Doc Rivers suggested before the game that he could miss more time. The Celtics play the lowly Nets on Saturday and then don’t play again until Tuesday so there’s good chance to get him some rest. Marquis Daniels did play despite suffering from the flu. Daniels started in Pierce’s place and drew the assignment of guarding LeBron James.

James kept the Cavaliers in the game with 10 points.

Pierce out again, Daniels to start

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Paul Pierce will miss his second straight game with a sprained right thumb while Marquis Daniels will start after missing Wednesday’s practice with flu-like symptoms. Doc Rivers made the announcement in his pre-game chat with reporters.