Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
“I just thought, ‘Oh man, just try to pressure the ball as much as I can,’ ” Daniels said after logging perhaps his finest game as a Celtic.
Beyond his modest numbers – four points, four assists, three rebounds – Daniels turned the game around while matched against Harris and speedy backup Jordan Farmar.
“I can play point guard if I have to,” he said. “It’s not too tough. I just do what I have to do and take my time.”
It’s good he thinks that way. Rivers, who doesn’t plan to use Rondo in tonight’s game against Toronto, may have to hand the ball to Daniels again.
“For a game, he’s going to have no choice,” said Rivers. “I don’t know how much, but I can tell you it’ll be a lot of minutes. We have no choice. We can play Avery (Bradley) in spots, but we have to protect him. And Nate can’t get in foul trouble.”
Marquis absolutely turned that Nets game around. The C's were playing one of those stale, "bored" games until Marquis came in. He immediately change the game with his defense by forcing a bunch of turnovers and bad shots.
And that's how he'll have to impact the point guard position. The Celtics have a big lineup on the floor when Quis is playing the point, so they should be able to get up in shooters' faces and force tough shots and deflections. Marquis won't be pulling any Rondo-like moves out there with his ball handling, but he doesn't have to be the primary ball handler all the time. Other guys, like Pierce and Ray, will chip in. The ball will make its way up the court and the Celtics will run an offense that can get them good looks.
Don't make the mistake that Marquis as point guard has to equal Marquis the play-maker. Marquis at the point will just have to do what the Celtics pride themselves on: play great defense. He'll use his length to bother the opposing guard and hopefully disrupt their offense. If he can do that, then he'll start the C's offense by starting a fast break… which is the easiest offense to run anyway.
On Page 2, Avery Bradley isn't fully ready, or fully healthy
Now that a spot has opened up in the rotation, that doesn't mean Bradley will automatically see a drastic increase in minutes, though. The Celtics have options in their backcourt (see Nate Robinson and Marquis Daniels) who can account for West's minutes while Bradley continues to develop.
"I was talking about it today for Avery," Doc Rivers said on Wednesday following West's injury against the New Jersey Nets. "I think [assistant coach] Lawrence [Frank] or [assistant coach] Kevin Eastman said he's been through three full practices this season, including training camp. And he's a rookie, and we're going to throw him on the floor? So we may, at times [play Bradley], but we've just got to protect him. We don't want to ruin him. And he's not healthy yet. Not great health."
I wish I knew the extent of that ankle injury. It seems like it should have healed in the past four months.
Look for Avery to get a couple of minutes here and there… probably in the last couple minutes of a quarter as a guy gets a quick rest around the break. Avery will do what I just said Marquis has to do… play defense. That's what this kid is known for anyway… and there's no way a kid with 3 full practices under his belt can play meaningful minutes.
This brings us back to the other quote where Doc said Nate has to stay out of foul trouble. If Nate gets into early foul trouble, then that forces Marquis to get in there early… which triggers a not-so-pretty domino effect. Don't be shocked if you see a Ray-Paul-Baby-KG-Shaq lineup out there if Nate has to sit early, Marquis needs a break, and Von Wafer can't get the job done. It's a lineup that can get the job done, no doubt, but it forces guys into positions they're not normally in, and that's the first step in a devolution away from team ball and into individual play. Guys will just throw their hands up, say "screw it", and resort to the "I know I can create my own shot, so I will" kind of mentality.
We've seen where that leads us. It's not good.
Of course we say all this now… and Avery could get out there, get hot, and Doc can ride him for a few extra minutes and we'll suddenly have a Leon Powe kinda situation here… which wouldn't be a bad thing at all.
And yes, that is, in fact, me putting two completely opposite scenarios out there at the same time in an effort to say "I knew that was possible" later on. I call it "pulling a Shaughnessy."
Thank you… thank you very much.
Related links: Globe: West's injury might be Bradley's big break
The rest of the links:
ESPN Boston: Mailbag: leftovers on Turkey Day | Another injury? What's new? | Globe: Putting the Celtics in focus | Raptors thumbnails | Toronto Sun: Raptors want revenge | FanHouse: Ray Allen still rolling after all these years