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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
Ray Allen: ‘Anything Can Happen’ 02.03.10 at 10:32 pm ET
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Ray Allen has been around long enough to know anything is possible.

When Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge called a meeting with Allen, the veteran was appreciative of the organization’€™s efforts to keep him in the loop with the trading deadline approaching.

Even though Allen had disciplined himself to ignore the rumors, they are hard to avoid when an expiring contract has made him the focal point of rumors floating around the NBA circuit. The most talked-about report had Golden State interested in sending Monta Ellis to Boston in exchange for Allen.

Because of this, Ainge wanted to clear the air. He met with Allen and his family for half-an-hour at the Celtics training facility on Tuesday in Waltham.

‘€œWe talked yesterday and he just wanted me to know that he hasn’€™t done anything or tried anything to seek out a trade,’€ Allen told WEEI.com prior to Wednesday’s Celtics-Heat game. ‘€œHe just, based off of what he feels that we’€™ve done for the organization on and off the floor, he was like I just owe it to you so that you know there’€™s nothing that’€™s been done on my behalf. It’€™s just teams inquiring, natural NBA business.’€

[Click here to hear what Ray Allen said about all of the rumors swirling and his meeting with Ainge.]

Ainge reiterated to WEEI’€™s Big Show on Wednesday that he has not had any conversations regarding a trade that would move Allen. He felt it was unlikely that the Celtics would find a deal that would help them with a title both this season and in the future. Their priority, Ainge said, is winning now.

And besides, they like having Allen on the court.

‘€œWe want Ray,’€ Ainge said. ‘€œWe think Ray is a huge part of our winning a championship this year.’€

Allen does not doubt the Celtics appreciation of his game and contributions to the Boston community. In addition to his Ray of Hope Foundation, the Allens became heavily involved with the Joslin Diabetes Center after their son Walker was diagnosed in 2008.

At the same time, there is a reality of the game. While Ainge said the Celtics have not actively sought out a trade nor have they been ‘€œanywhere near or had any discussion,’€ that does not mean they wouldn’€™t entertain talks either.

After 14 years in the league, Allen understands how it works.

‘€œI really understand that this is a business and I got traded when I was the least one to be traded when I was in Milwaukee. So anything can happen. Anything can happen,’€ Allen said. ‘€œThere’€™s nobody that’€™s really untouchable in this league, so I appreciated his candidness, letting me know and letting my wife know, and my boys were in the office running around. You always hate to see people do business behind your back and kind of not keep you alert, so it just spoke volumes of who he is and as a GM doing his job.

‘€œBut, you know, he still could. I don’€™t know. It depends on what is thrown out there. So it’€™s not that I worry about it. It’€™s a business. My job still has to be done the same.’€

Read More: Boston Celtics, Monta Ellis, Ray Allen,
Daniels wants to re-sign with C’s at 8:43 pm ET
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Marquis Daniels has seen enough to know that he likes where he is.

In spite of spending the majority of his one-year contract on the sidelines with a thumb injury, Daniels already knows he would like to re-sign with the Celtics this summer.

‘€œThe locker room is great, it’€™s a great atmosphere, the coaching staff, everything is good,’€ he told WEEI.com prior to the Celtics ‘€“ Heat game, despite a recent claim from Rajon Rondo that the team was having chemistry issues. ‘€œSo it’€™s something that I’€™d like to be part of. Hopefully it will work out. If not, then I have to deal with everything that happens.’€

Daniels likes the winning mentality of the Celtics community, from his teammates to the coaching staff, front office to the fans. The city’€™s winning tradition is something he would like to remain a part of.

At the same time, he has a very realistic outlook on his current situation. He knows what he can control and what is out of his hands. While he is eager to get back on the court (he has missed 27 games and hopes play before the All-Star break), he isn’€™t dwelling on the fact that he hasn’€™t been able to.

‘€œThere’€™s no frustrations. It’€™s part of the game,’€ he said. ‘€œI just go out there and play. I can’€™t worry about trying to do more than what you’€™re supposed to because that’€™s when you start playing bad and making things worse for yourself. I’€™ve just got to go out there and do what I do, and that’€™s playing defense, getting guys open, and doing my job. That’€™s the only thing I have to worry about.’€

Daniels won’€™t get caught up in the length of future contracts, either. So whether he is offered another one-year deal or something longer than that, he’€™ll stick with doing his job and let everyone else do their own.

‘€œI don’€™t think about stuff like that,’€ he said. ‘€œI worry about things that I can control, and that’€™s not one of them. I just go out there and play. I can control how I play when I get out there. As far as what someone wants to do, as far as deal-wise, I let my agent and the front office talk about that.’€

Read More: Boston Celtics, Marquis Daniels, Rajon Rondo,
First Quarter Wrap: Celtics vs. Heat at 8:35 pm ET
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First Quarter: Celtics 27 – Heat 26

Without Paul Pierce in the lineup, the question was who will stop Dwyane Wade? The Heat should be wondering, though, who will stop Rajon Rondo?

Rondo leads all players with 8 points and four assists. Wade is right behind him with 7 points and 4 dimes. But the C’s are getting a big boost from Kevin Garnett, who has added 7 points and four assists of his own.

The key for the Celtics in the second quarter will be tough defense. The Heat are shooting 65 percent from the field.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Miami Heat,
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