|Former Magic Notice Changes in Celtics||10.11.09 at 5:01 pm ET|
The last time Rafer Alston, Tony Battie, and Courtney Lee played against the Celtics, they sent the C’s packing for the summer. The trio were members of the Magic team that eliminated the Celtics in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. This year they are in a different uniform and noticed the Cs have a different look as well.
Alston, Battie and Lee were traded from the Magic to the Nets over the summer as part of the Vince Carter deal. On Sunday they got their first take at the Celtics with their new team during preseason action at the TD Garden (recap here).
‘They got a brand new season,’ Battie said. ‘I mean, you look and [Kevin Garnett] is back and Rasheed [Wallace] is part of it. They got a great steal in getting Marquis Daniels, and you have those three additions coming back in the team. So, I think they’re the team to beat, definitely.’
Last season a hobbled Celtics squad was outscored, outrebounded and burned from the 3-point line by the Magic. Without Garnett on the court and veterans Ray Allen and Paul Pierce overworked, the Celtics bench could not save the season. Now the additions of Wallace and Daniels give the team much-needed depth.
‘They get their big guy back and then they add Rasheed Wallace in there now,’ Alston said. ‘I think when you’re trying to take away a lot of their main guys, they have a lot of guys that can step up and stretch the defense or post up on the low block. They have a different dynamic to their team, especially from a defensive aspect for other teams.’
Both Alston and Lee agree the series would have been completely different if the Celtics had so many weapons last season.
‘They would’ve been a better team,’ Lee said. ‘They definitely would’ve been harder for a matchup because you can play Marquis at the 1 and you sub in Rasheed, so they keep a shooting big in at all times, so they definitely would have been better.’
Said Alston: ‘I don’t think we would have been able to roam a lot off of a lot of their guys ‘ [Rajon] Rondo, [Kendrick] Perkins, Big Baby [Glen Davis]. Those guys who really bring more scoring to the offense, especially from the bench standpoint.’
The combination of a healthy Garnett and a revamped second unit has Alston noticing a difference in the 2009-10 Celtics. Although he isn’t as willing as Battie to name them the best in the Eastern Conference, he can’t deny the changes on the court.
‘Whenever they have all their guys, they have a swagger,’ he said. ‘When someone goes down they don’t have swagger no more. That’s just how they are.’
|Garden Debut has New Vets Feeling Young Again||10.09.09 at 10:26 pm ET|
Marquis Daniels is entering his seventh NBA season, and he can’t help but feel like it’s his first.
‘I’m very excited. I told the guys the other day, I’m like, ‘I feel like a rookie,’ ‘ Daniels said before the game. ‘I’m very excited to be playing here. I’ve played in here on the other team and I knew there’d be a big difference. The fans play a big role and they’re great.’
Daniels was one of five Celtics who played their first games on the parquet as a member of the home team. Rasheed Wallace, Michael Sweetney, Shelden Williams and rookie Lester Hudson also made their Celtics debuts.
‘Coming here is just a great moment,’ said Sweetney, who had not played in the NBA since the 2006-07 season. ‘Coming in the building was like, wow. But coming into this locker room and the history and just being on this team is just amazing.’
Newcomers such as Williams point to the Celtics’ deep tradition as something they have never experienced in the NBA. Williams has played for the Hawks, Timberwolves and Kings over the course of his career.
‘It’s a great feeling,’ he said. ‘I know it’s not the same gym as the Boston Garden, but there’s still a lot of history here and in the city wearing green. It’s still a great feeling to be part of history.’
With the titles and electricity of the TD Garden come high expectations for the upcoming season.
‘I’ve never been on a team at the beginning of the season and everybody says, ‘We’re going to make the playoffs,’ ‘ Sweetney said. ‘But this team has won championships, so it’s a different feeling surrounding it.’
This has Daniels looking forward to the feeling he has wearing a Celtics uniform.
‘[The difference with the Celtics is] just knowing that we have a chance to be real special and we have a chance to do great things,’ he said. ‘There are a lot of great, hard-working guys, great veterans, great franchise, coaches and everything. It’s going to be a great situation.’
|Doc Rivers on D&C, 10/6||10.06.09 at 11:38 am ET|
Celtics coach Doc Rivers appeared on Dennis & Callahan Tuesday morning to discuss the team’s preseason preparations as the C’s get set to play the Houston Rockets in Hidaglo, Texas, on Wednesday night.
Following is a complete transcript. To hear the interview, visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Do you worry about your guys … when you make a trip like that [to Hidalgo, Texas, on the Mexico border]?
I worry more about [Greg] Dickerson doing it than our players. I’m hoping he actually goes and we can steal his passport so he can’t come back.
No, you do worry about it. Guys like going over and having fun or whatever. We have great guys, and we’ll talk to them about it so you’re not that concerned. But you’d rather [they] not be there, let’s put it that way.
Give us several significant highlights to camp at this point. What are we missing here so far?
I think Rasheed [Wallace] and Marquis Daniels, they really have solidified our bench. It’s a veteran bench, very similar to two years ago. Rasheed’s ability to stretch the floor will be amazing when he plays with [Kendrick Perkins] or Kevin [Garnett], it doesn’t really matter which one he plays with, he still stretches the floor, he has the ability to take 5s out. And Marquis Daniels, he’s really good for our team. He’s a small forward, he plays 2 guard as well. From his position, he can handle the ball, and that frees up Eddie [House]. The old point forward ‘ if you remember the Paul Pressey days in Milwaukee, where he handled the ball, and then Sidney Moncrief and Marques Johnson and those guys came off picks. Well, it will be very similar to us with the second team.
Is Rasheed going to be beloved here in Boston?
Yeah. The one thing we knew about Rasheed was the fact that his teammates that he’s played for loved him. He’s always been a great teammate. He’s one of the more verbal talkers on defense in the league ‘ him and Kevin. And it’s amazing. During camp, I have a lot of college coaches come in and they watch camp. And that’s the one thing they keep saying is ‘ well, there’s two things: “Boy, your bigs have a chance to be really good.” The second thing is, “I’ve never seen a team talk as much on defense, especially Rasheed, Perk and Kevin.” So, those are the things they’ll notice. But they’ll love him. I’m sure there will be a couple of nights where he’ll get into an exchange with someone else in stripes, and we’re going to have to deal with that. But that’s not going to be an issue, in my opinion.
|More Than Money Brought Daniels to the Green||09.04.09 at 5:37 pm ET|
Most professional athletes today tend to live up to Rod Tidwell from the 1996 film Jerry Maguire’s credo of ‘Show me the Money.’
Such is not the case with newly-signed Celtic Marquis Daniels. Daniels had several offers to sign for more elsewhere, but decided to leave money on the table to sign with the Celtics by inking a one-year deal, reportedly for Boston’s $1.99 million biannual exception.
“I had other situations where I could’ve went and made more money,” Daniels said. “But I wanted to be a part of a great franchise and a winning franchise.”
That new franchise that Daniels joins now boasts a new and improved bench that includes former starters Rasheed Wallace and Glen Davis as well as former Duke University All-American Shelden Williams. Daniels had a career year last season with the Pacers, averaging a career-high 13.6 points and 4.6 rebounds per game.
According to Celtics GM Danny Ainge, Daniels has been a player the Celtics brass has coveted since the Auburn-product entered the NBA with the Dallas Mavericks during the 2003-2004 campaign. Ainge also suggested that, even before he was hired in Boston, now-Celtics coach Doc Rivers has followed the 28-year-old.
‘I went and watched him play in his first Summer League game,’ Ainge said. ‘I asked myself, ‘how did we miss that guy?’’
The acquisition bringing Daniels to the Celtics was drawn out over seven long weeks until the signing was finalized and deemed official on Friday. Even the press conference to announce the deal was delayed for an hour and a half as the final t’s were crossed and i’s dotted.
After Pacer teammate Mike Dunleavy Jr., went down with an injury, Daniels was able to crack the Indiana starting five at the beginning of the 2008-09 campaign. Daniels started in 31 of the team’s first 34 games last season.
‘With Mike being down it gave me the opportunity to come in as a starter and play a lot more,’ Daniels said. ‘And being the second guy to Danny [Granger] it worked out pretty good and I was able to show guys that I could help out off the bench or start.’
Daniels is looking to help the Celtics reach the heights that they did by winning the NBA Championship just a pair of seasons ago. That team was built on camaraderie and depth, two things that Daniels hopes to contribute in Boston this season by starting to work out with his new teammates before training camp begins.
‘I think everybody knows that it’s going to be key for everybody to come in and build some chemistry,’ Daniels said.
Daniels has experience in a variety of positions and roles on the court during his six-year NBA career. According to Ainge, Daniels has experience playing the point all the way to playing power forward in some small-ball packages.
Daniels has averaged 9.4 points and 3.2 rebounds and 23.5 minutes per game during his career. Daniels went undrafted out of Auburn University in 2003, but signed with the Dallas Mavericks after a stunning stint while playing on their summer league squad that summer.
|Celtics announce Daniels signing||09.01.09 at 4:40 pm ET|
On Tuesday the Boston Celtics announced they have signed free agent guard Marquis Daniels. Per team policy terms were not discussed, however several reports have indicated Daniels will earn $1.99 million with the bi-annual exception. Click here to learn more about Daniels … in his own words.
Official team statement:
BOSTON, MA ‘ The Boston Celtics announced today that the club has signed free agent guard Marquis Daniels to a contract. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
‘We feel that Marquis’ ability to play multiple positions will add great versatility and athleticism to our team,’ said Danny Ainge, Celtics President of Basketball Operations.
Daniels spent last season with the Indiana Pacers and averaged a career-high 13.6 points and a career-high 4.6 rebounds per game. The former Auburn Tiger scored 20-or-more points 12 times during the 2008-09 season. Daniels would also post career-highs in points (733), rebounds (248), field goals made (311) and attempted (689). The 6’6, 200lbs guard posted all of these career-highs while appearing in just 54 games (43 starts). During his rookie campaign with Dallas in 2003-04, Daniels was named to the All-Rookie Second Team. Despite playing limited time until March, Daniels impressed over the final 24 games of the season averaging 14.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.50 steals in 30.7 minutes per game. Daniels ranked eighth among rookies in scoring (8.5 ppg) and led all rookies in field goal percentage (.494). Daniels has made three trips to the postseason and has posted career averages of 6.1 points and 2.4 rebounds in 36 career games. Daniels’ best postseason came during his rookie campaign when he averaged 15.8 points in five games.
|Video: Getting to know Marquis Daniels||at 8:41 am ET|
After months of speculation, the Boston Celtics will sign Marquis Daniels, according to the Boston Herald. Daniels is expected to give Paul Pierce a legitimate back up on the wing, something that has been missing since the departure of James Posey. He is also has the skills to add depth to the Celtics backcourt. But who is Daniels off the court? He explains in this video.
|Report: Delay in Daniels Deal||07.27.09 at 3:54 pm ET|
Even though Marquis Daniels committed to the Celtics over a week ago, the Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers have yet to agree on how the free agent would end up in green, whether it is by a sign-and-trade or a biannual exception.
On Monday the Boston Herald reported the talks between the two teams have hit a snag and they are seeking out a third team to help facilitate the deal. According to the Herald, the Pacers are not satisfied with the players the Celtics are offering for a sign-and-trade, reportedly Tony Allen and possibly Gabe Pruitt.
The Herald quoted a source as saying, “They need a third team, and that’s complicated. No other teams have jumped at it so far.”
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