|Doc on Pierce: Still ‘Day-to-day’||02.05.10 at 7:45 pm ET|
Celtics coach Doc Rivers said Paul Pierce continued his cardio workout on Friday but is still unsure whether the team’s captain will be able to return on Sunday for the showdown with the Orlando Magic at TD Garden.
“It’s day-to-day,” Rivers said of Pierce’s left mid-foot strain. “That’s about it, really. He’s moving around, shooting around a little bit. I don’t know yet.”
Marquis Daniels, meanwhile, will practice again on Saturday but Rivers said there’s still no guarantee he’ll be ready to play against Orlando. Rivers’ main concern is not the thumb but rather the ability of Daniels to run the team’s offensive sets that have been installed since he last played on Dec. 4.
“I’m not so sure about him on Sunday.” Rivers, whether Daniels will be prepared to return. “We’ll have to throw him in eventually.”
For Daniels, it’s his 28th straight game missed following ligament surgery on his left thumb.
[Click here to listen to Doc Rivers compare the 2010 Nets to the 24-win 2007 Celtics.]
Other pregame notes included Rivers’ thoughts on being the third-longest tenured coach with one team in the NBA behind Jerry Sloan [Utah] and Gregg Popovich [San Antonio].
“Really, I didn’t know that,” Rivers said. “That’s unbelievable. You Boston guys [media], I thought you were tough. That’s surprising. They’re some guys out there that clearly should be doing this a lot longer than me. You know how this league is – it’s a talent-based league. If you have enough of it and do your job with it, then you stay.
The pregame discussion ended with his thoughts on Sunday’s big game between Indianapolis and New Orleans.
“Super Bowl predictions?,” Rivers said, repeating the question asked of him. “The Saints, what the [heck]. No reason for that. Maybe the reason is I’ve heard about Colts. I wondered if [the Colts] were playing anybody so I’m going with the other team.”
|Daniels feels like Forrest Gump||02.04.10 at 5:32 pm ET|
WALTHAM — When Marquis Daniels eventually returns to game action, he shouldn’t be that much out of breath.
That’s because the most versatile player on the roster has been put through a strict running program to make sure he’s in shape once his surgically repaired left thumb is ready for game action.
“I think they did a good job of running me,” Daniels said. “I’ve turned into Forrest Gump a little bit. I’m glad to be back. It feels like the first day of school, very excited. I’m just ready to get back out there and play and be a part of the team and just feel more wanted out there. Hopefully, I can another good practice in and maybe [play] Sunday.”
And while he wasn’t doing much running on Thursday in practice (see below), he was busy learning new plays that coach Doc Rivers has installed in his 27-game absence.
“He put a couple more sets in, but for the most part it’s pretty much the same thing. I just have to learn three positions, the point guard, the 2 and the 3. It’s coming along pretty simple, so hopefully I can pick them up by next practice.”
That next practice will be Saturday, meaning it’s highly unlikely he plays — or is needed for that matter — against New Jersey on Friday. When he does, he wants to be sure his thumb is ready for a hit. If he can take a hit in practice, he believes he’ll be game-ready.
“Just getting hit,” Daniels said Thursday. “Everything else is pretty much mental. I think my conditioning is OK. It’s not the best, but it’s the best it can be without playing basketball. Other than that, once I get that first hit on it, I think I’ll be OK.”
Rivers spent nearly 30 minutes with Daniels and the second unit at the end of practice as he tries to help Daniels get back to speed in time for a possible weekend return to action.
After several days of shooting and basketball-related drills, Thursday marked Daniels’ first practice back with the team.
Daniels said the biggest hurdle for him will be taking a blow to the thumb, which was wrapped in white protective bandage for his first practice back.
“It wasn’t a great practice for him,” Rivers said. “We didn’t do a lot. We didn’t do really anything live, so it wasn’t a great practice for him. Just trying to get him some rhythm, which is good.”
Rivers added that he doubts Daniels will be ready to play against New Jersey on Friday but more likely set for a Sunday return against Orlando.
|Daniels wants to re-sign with C’s||02.03.10 at 8:43 pm ET|
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.
“The 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. “So 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.
“There’s no frustrations. It’s part of the game,” he said. “I 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.
“I don’t think about stuff like that,” he said. “I 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.”
|Daniels could return Sunday vs. Orlando||at 8:17 pm ET|
Marquis Daniels confirmed before Wednesday’s game that he will return to practice on Thursday for the first time since having surgery on his left thumb in early December.
Head coach Doc Rivers said he could possibly return on Sunday against Orlando but the more realistic date is next Wednesday in New Orleans against the Hornets. Rivers said he will not rush Daniels back just because Paul Pierce is questionable and day-to-day with a left mid-foot sprain.
|Pierce out against Miami||at 7:32 pm ET|
Paul Pierce will not play against Miami and will be replaced in the starting lineup by Tony Allen. Doc Rivers also said that he didn’t think Pierce would be able to play Friday against the Nets. The Celtics are considering the foot injury to Pierce to be a day-to-day situation.
Rivers said there is a chance that Marquis Daniels could be ready to return Sunday against the Magic, but he stressed that the team wouldn’t make a decision on Daniels based on Pierce’s availability.
|Ian Thomsen on D&C: C’s need to adjust game||02.01.10 at 11:08 am ET|
Sports Illustrated NBA writer Ian Thomsen made an appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Monday morning to talk about the Celtics’ recent woes. He explored the team’s current struggles, whether the Big Three still has the legs to mount a championship run, whether the team might consider a major deal along the lines of a trade of Ray Allen or whether a move to acquire a player such as Kirk Hinrich of the Bulls could help the team to pull out of its current funk.
Following is a transcript. To hear the interview, click here.
How quickly is the window closing?
It’s going to close fast if they don’t make the adjustments they need to make. They aren’t themselves, and I’m talking about [Kevin] Garnett especially, and [Paul] Pierce a little bit, and even Ray Allen. They’re just going to need to adjust the way they play, to try to make the best of it while they get through this transition. If they still think they can win a championship, they can’t do it the way they are playing now. They have to sort of do a transitional style to get them to March and April with a chance to win it.
Meaning what? Get new people?
Garnett needs to be more of a center right now. He’s not himself. He’s not beating guys down the floor in transition. [Lakers coach] Phil Jackson brought that up yesterday. He needs to be more that post-up guy, play a little bit more inside, they can play the ball through him. He needs to figure out what he can do and do that. Because what he’s doing now isn’t very productive.
They’ve been outscored in the fourth quarter in 12 of their last 14 games. Is that age and injury?
It’s age and injury, and I really think they’re asking too much of Rajon Rondo in his [fourth] year to be doing so much, to be carrying them, playing a lot of minutes, and then to lead them in the fourth quarters the way he’s been having to do. I think he’s come a long way, he’s a terrific player, he’s going to be even better in a couple of years. But right now they’re asking too much of him.
A lot of it just doesn’t make sense. The team doesn’t make sense, when you look at the hierarchy. Think about two years ago. When you looked at the stats for the season, it just all made sense the way the shots were divvied out, the order of things. And they don’t have that order right now. Rondo’s a big part of the offense as a point guard who is not a great shooter. Really, it all just comes down to not having Garnett be himself, and he’s got to figure out some way to be productive right now.
|Doc: ‘Slight’ chance Daniels returns before break||01.25.10 at 7:21 pm ET|
BOSTON — Celtics coach Doc Rivers said before Monday’s game that Marquis Daniels could return before the All-Star break.
Monday was the 22nd straight game that Daniels missed following surgery on his left thumb. Initially, the Celtics didn’t anticipate his return until after the All-Star break, but if a checkup goes well on Tuesday, some basketball activities could be in the offing followed by practice, and then, games.
“We’ll find out more [Tuesday] about Marquis,” Rivers said. “We’re hoping first game after the All-Star break.
“There’s a slight chance he may be able to play by the New Orleans game [Feb. 10], which would be a huge benefit for him because he gets one game in before which helps him once we come out of break. We’re out of break on the West Coast, so we want to come out of break playing well.”
Meanwhile, Brian Scalabrine, who missed his second game on Monday with a separated right shoulder, is expected to miss a week.
He also will be re-evaluated on Tuesday.