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Daniels fueled by adrenaline in return 02.07.10 at 6:58 pm ET
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All along, Marquis Daniels has said he didn’€™t want to play with any fear when he returned from his thumb injury.

More than two months have passed since Daniels underwent surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb. On Sunday against the Magic, he stayed true to his word.

Daniels was greeted by a standing ovation when he made his debut with 4.3 seconds left in the first quarter ‘€” ‘€œI appreciate that,’€ he said. ‘€œThank ya’€™ll. Thank you everybody.’€

Doc Rivers told Daniels he was looking for him to be aggressive, and Daniels listened. He shook off a careless foul he committed as Mickael Pietrus shot a 3, and had confidence in his own shot. He knocked down his first attempt (a turnaround jumper) just 46 seconds into the second quarter.

‘€œIt’€™s always a good feeling to make your first shot,’€ he said with a laugh. ‘€œThe basket started looking wider, so it was just a good feeling just to make the first one.’€ Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Celtics, Marquis Daniels, Rajon Rondo,
Doc: ‘We played like crap’ at 6:52 pm ET
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Doc Rivers says in his postgame address that his team is not as good as it might think it is. The Celtics were outscored 36-11 in the third quarter and blew an 11-point halftime lead in a 96-89 loss to the Magic, dropping them to third in the Eastern Conference.

The Celtics are have lost all seven home games this year against opponents with at least 30 wins.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, NBA, Orlando Magic
Giddens cautious with return from surgery at 4:12 pm ET
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J.R. Giddens recovery is ahead of schedule, but he isn’t rushing himself back on the court.

Giddens underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee last Tuesday to repair a torn meniscus he suffered while assigned to the Maine Red Claws. Even though he predicts he could return earlier if needed, he is planning on taking the full six weeks before he is cleared to play.

“I’m actually having a speedy recovery,” he said before the Celtics-Magic game. “I think if I was one of the major players on the roster, I could probably be back playing within a week-and-a-half. But I’m probably just going to take six weeks off, so probably another five weeks [from now]. I’ll start weight training next week, but everything’s good. I’ll probably start jogging, shooting free throws now.”

After having 25 percent of his meniscus removed, he doesn’t feel any soreness in his knee except for the two spots where he received what he called “baby stitches,” which he expects to have removed today. He has been lifting weights and doing exercises to improve his range of motion and strength.

Giddens will continue his rehab during the All-Star Break. He originally planned to attend the festivities in Dallas with his family to celebrate his February 13th birthday. (They live a few hours away near Oklahoma City.) Now he will stay back to get healthy.

“I’m trying to stay focused and make sure that my body’s right,” he said. “So I’m just going to stay up here in Boston, kept it very low-key, and make sure I’m rehabbing, trying to get back as soon as I can because I’m already ahead of schedule. I wouldn’t want to do anything like put myself back a week or so. You never know with injuries, people getting hurt, so I just want to try to stay fresh and get stronger day by day.”

Read More: Boston Celtics, J.R. Giddens,
Daniels may suit up against Magic 02.06.10 at 4:57 pm ET
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WALTHAM ‘€“ Marquis Daniels may suit up against the Magic on Sunday, but Doc Rivers is still undecided if he will play.

‘€œIf Marquis dresses, I still don’€™t know if he’€™ll play tomorrow,’€ Rivers said after practice. ‘€œI’€™m not sure.’€

While the Celtics ran contact plays during practice, Daniels, who has been out since early December with a thumb injury, did not get as many hits in as Rivers would have liked. Daniels had previously said he was looking forward to getting his first real hit (he just preferred it didn’€™t come from Kendrick Perkins or Glen Davis).

But if it were up to him, he would be getting back on the court on Sunday.

‘€œHopefully tomorrow I’€™ll be ready to go,’€ he said. ‘€œWhatever minutes I get, I’€™ll be ready to go out there and perform.’€

After practice Daniels tweeted, ‘€œ1st game back 2morro, thumb is feeling pretty good so anxious to play I don’t think y’all understand’€

Read More: Boston Celtics, Marquis Daniels,
Pierce expects to play against Magic at 4:35 pm ET
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WALTHAM — Paul Pierce (left foot sprain) practiced on Saturday and expects to play on Sunday against the Magic. Doc Rivers said it will be a game day decision based on the fact that Pierce looked hesitant on live plays, but Pierce says he is ready to go. He categorized his recovery as “not quite one-hundred percent but it’s good enough for me to play.”

“I think it’s my decision,” he said. “[Doc] asked me if I could play tomorrow and I told him yeah. I got out there and did some of the drills we had going on today.”

As for Wednesday’s contest against the Hornets and All-Star Weekend (Pierce is slated to participate in the Three-Point Shootout and All-Star Game), he will determine how much he can play after Sunday’s game. Considering he has been able to walk around on his foot and has not required any extra tape or a boot, he hopes he won’t have to miss anything and still be ready for the upcoming West Coast road trip.

For him, it’s a matter of healing. But he won’t push himself either.

“If things don’t work out, then they’re not going to work out,” he said.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Paul Pierce,
Fast Break: Celtics vs. Nets 02.05.10 at 10:01 pm ET
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The Celtics may have won the game, 96-87, but it wasn’t pretty. The Nets tested the C’s for the majority of the game and led, 73-72, heading into the fourth quarter.The Celtics allowed the Nets to shoot at an astonishingly high percentage in the first half (63.3 percent, compared to their league-worst season average of 42.2 percent). The C’s were also outplayed in the paint.

But the Celtics were carried by their backcourt and bench — a game-high 26 points from Ray Allen, 17 from Rajon Rondo, and a combined 30 from Rasheed Wallace, Eddie House and Glen Davis led the Celtics to avoid a humiliating loss against the worst team in the NBA.

Player of the game: Eddie House scored all 10 of his points in the fourth quarter and took back the game for the Celtics. House had shot 0-for-4 from the field, including 0-for-3 from 3-point range, heading into the final quarter.

Turning point: House hit a 3-pointer with nine minutes left in the game to put the Celtics up 77-75. The C’s forced a turnover on the next possession, and Bill Walker drew a foul to push the lead to four. This gave the C’s the edge and control over the ballgame.

- Ray Allen led a balanced attack throughout the game, scoring 11 points in the first half and another 15 in the second.

- Brook Lopez won the battle of the bigs against Kendrick Perkins. He posted 19 points and six rebounds in 41 minutes. Perkins scored six points and grabbed seven rebounds in 26 minutes.

- The Celtics committed a pair of careless turnovers down the stretch. They were called for a 24-second violation shortly followed by an eight-second violation. Earlier in the game, officials rescinded a fourth-quarter trey by House and ruled that a 24-second shot clock violation had occurred.

- The Celtics will face the Magic on Sunday in Boston. The Magic lost on Friday night to the Wizards.

Read More: Boston Celtics, eddie house, New Jersey Nets, Ray Allen
Alston wanted to play for Celtics at 12:44 am ET
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Earlier this season, there was speculation that the Celtics could make a move to acquire Rafer Alston after he was bought out by the Nets. The theory was that he could be a veteran backup to Rajon Rondo, the same role the Celtics had filled with Sam Cassell and Stephon Marbury the previous two seasons.

Turns out, it was actually the other way around. Rather than the Celtics going after Alston, Alston told his camp after the buyout that he would like to play in Boston. He is ‘€œpretty sure’€ the Celtics knew of his interest, but he never had a conversation with the organization.

‘€œI think it was my interest,’€ he told WEEI.com. ‘€œBut I don’€™t think Doc [Rivers] would have opposed it knowing that you can grab a guy that can give you minutes at backup point for this team, and who’€™s a willing passer and just a natural point guard. Then understand, I played for [assistant coach Tom] Thibodeau before in Houston. So I’€™d always had them on my mind before I came here.’€

The 33-year-old didn’€™t lose any time holding out for the C’€™s, though. The Heat scooped him up almost immediately after he cleared waivers in early January. Alston could not turn down the opportunity to start for a playoff contender, nor could he stress enough how happy he is on his new team: ‘€œI got blown away by coming here with the immediate option to play instead of waiting it out.’€

There is an element of surprise in Alston’€™s interest in the Celtics, though. He has been involved in some heated moments at TD Garden. Last season he slapped Eddie House in the head during the Eastern Conference semifinals as a member of the Magic. Just Wednesday night, he was issued a technical foul in the Celtics-Heat game.

But Alston says that has nothing to do with ill will. It’€™s about the competition.

‘€œI enjoy watching them on League Pass,’€ he admitted. ‘€œPlaying against them, I know it’€™s going to be a competitive game. We always chat at each other, but deep down I always care about each of the players in this league. So even if I did come, I hope they wouldn’€™t have taken the chatter back and forth that we all do against each other personally. Again, I have a great respect for the level of competition that they bring.’€

Alston also has a good understanding of the Celtics. He has faced them enough times over his career to see where he could have fit in. While he believes Rondo is more than qualified to run the floor himself ‘€” ‘€œHe’€™s an All-Star,’€ Alston said. ‘€œHe’€™s having a wonderful career.’€ ‘€” Alston thinks having a true point guard on the bench could have had its benefits, too.

‘€œNot back up but just complement, maybe get him [Rondo] some much-needed rest,’€ he explained. ‘€œSometimes there are nights that he’€™s out there giving 40 minutes, and get him some rest. And also, you’€™d help the second-unit guys. You can keep some guys in their natural positions. You can keep [Eddie] House in his natural position; you can keep [Marquis] Daniels in his natural position, guys that are flirting between playing shooting guard.

“That’€™s one thing that I learned in this game. If you can keep everyone at their natural and most comfortable position, them succeeding is a better percentage.’€

Read More: Boston Celtics, eddie house, Miami Heat, Rafer Alston
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