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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

This is why I was excited when the Boston Celtics signed Marquis Daniels in 2009

Marquis Daniels got off to a good start last season (his first with the Boston Celtics) but then injuries and inconsistent minutes led to him being buried on the bench by the end of the season and especially in the playoffs.

Fast forward to this season and outside of Glen Davis (the de facto center with Shaq/the Ghost of Jermaine O'Neal out constantly), I'd say that Daniels has become the Celtics' most important reserve. He's quiet but he lets his countless tattoos and solid, versatile all-around game speak for themselves.

With Rajon Rondo out for the fifth straight game and my Twitter buddy Nate Robinson playing terribly, it was up to Daniels last night to take over and change the complexion of the game as the Celts (24-5) won 95-83 over the Indiana Pacers (13-16) at Conseco Fieldhouse (isn't it precious that the lemmings of Indiana call their NBA building a Fieldhouse?).

In 31 minutes, Daniels had 12 points, five rebounds, four assists, two blocks and a steal as he took advantage of the six inches he had over Pacers point guard T.J. Ford.

Indiana was ahead by small margins for most of the game but since they're not very good, you had a funny feeling that the Celts would turn it on at some point, particularly coming off their bad performance on Christmas vs. the Magic.

Paul Pierce had a game-high 21 points, seven assists and five rebounds. Ray Allen scored 17 and Kevin Garnett added 11 points, 13 rebounds and three assists. Davis posted 14 points off the bench, Shaq had nine points before fouling out for the second straight game and Robinson had eight points despite receiving six stitches above his eye after butting heads with Mike Dunleavy (9 points).

Brandon Rush led Indiana with 17 points and seven rebounds. Star Danny Granger was held to 15 points on 5 of 21 shooting. Darren Collison (10 points) was the only other Pacer to score in double figures.

The Pacers jumped out to a 26-19 lead after one quarter and were up 47-45 at halftime. Boston cut it to one point after three quarters (67-66) before doing work in the fourth quarter (29-16).

For the game, Boston shot 50.7% to Indiana's 37.2%. Neither team made many 3-pointers (6-5 Boston), the Pacers hit five more free throws (20-15) and grabbed two more rebounds (41-39). Three more assists (18-15) and four more blocks (5-1) were enough for the Celtics to walk away with the win, likely the start of another win streak.

Tonight the Cs are in Detroit to take on the hapless Pistons. Boston pounded them early in the season (Nov. 2) and even though this is a back to back (ie. meaning any wacky shit can happen in the NBA), I expect more of the same.

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