Marquis Daniels ready to make most of opportunity with Bucks

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Marquis Daniels ready to make most of opportunity with Bucks

BOSTON - The good thing for Marquis Daniels is he hasn't had to do much color-scheme wise in fitting in with his new team, the Milwaukee Bucks.

But rest assured, Daniels' role with the Bucks is significantly different than it was with the Boston Celtics - on and off the court.

In Boston, he provided depth as a player the Celtics counted on for his versatility in their quest to win an NBA title.

With the Bucks, Daniels' playing time will be limited with him likely to spend more time mentoring younger players than motoring up and down the floor.

After all that he has been through, an opportunity to continue playing the game he loves is where his focus is right now.

"Take advantage of every opportunity," Daniels told CSNNE.com. "Dealing with the injuries from last couple years, I don't take nothing for granted, whether it's two minutes, three minutes, whatever it is. I just want to go out there and play hard. It could be gone at any time. I just want to take advantage of any situation."

Having had his share of potential career-ending injuries, Daniels can relate to what Jeff Green is dealing with now for the Celtics.

Green underwent season-ending heart surgery on the eve of training camp last year. He has since returned to the Celtics, but struggled mightily in Boston's season-opening loss at Miami.

Daniels understands that it takes time to heal, both physically and mentally.

"A lot of people expect you to do this and do that," Daniels said. "But there's still, you still have it in your head, 'what if this happens?' or 'what if that happens. Some way, you have to find a way to channel it out."

During his time in Boston, Daniels' career was marred by a slew of injuries that in many ways never allowed Celtics Nation to see just how valuable a player he could be.

Bucks General Manager John Hammond didn't need to be sold on Daniels, the player.

He was more concerned with learning all he could about Daniels, the person.

Needless to say, he was impressed.

"Every team, every roster needs people like that," Hammond told CSNNE.com. "You start with the man, and you go from there. I spoke with Danny (Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations) and he had nothing but good things to say about Marquis as a person."

Milwaukee head coach Scott Skiles spoke with C's coach Doc Rivers prior to the Bucks signing him to a one-year deal for the veteran's minimum.

Like Hammond, Skiles was also impressed with what he was told about Daniels the person.

Good guy or not, Daniels still has to prove his worth on the floor.

Although Skiles likes the versatility that Daniels brings to the floor, that may not necessarily get him on the court with any kind of consistent minutes.

"He can do a lot of positive things," Skiles said. "What that means playing time-wise, I don't know yet. I have to make a decision on Tobias (Harris) first and see where he's at. And then Mike Dunleavy of course. Marquis can play backup 2 (shooting guard) as well. He's just a very versatile guy. We're glad to have him."

And he's glad to be in Milwaukee, even if his role in terms of playing time remains uncertain.

Raiders creep past Patriots in race for top seed in AFC

Raiders creep past Patriots in race for top seed in AFC

The Patriots and Raiders and neck-and-neck as the race for home field in the AFC turns for home. And, with four games left, the Raiders are ahead by a nose. The tiebreakers between the 10-2 teams in play currently? Common games followed by strength of victory. 

The first tiebreaker – conference record – is a deadlock as both teams are 7-1 in the AFC (the Brady-less Patriots lost to the Bills back in Week 4.

After conference record, it's the teams record in common games. 

PATRIOTS 26, RAMS 10

So far in common games with the Texans and Bills, the Patriots have gone 2-1 and the Raiders have gone 2-0. The Patriots play the Ravens next week. Oakland beat them. The Patriots play Denver after that. Oakland beat them as well but have one more game against Denver in Week 17.

So if it comes down to common games the Patriots really need to win these next two games.

Or hope the Raiders stub their toe a time or two in their final four games which are at the Chiefs, Chargers and Broncos with a home game against Indy in Week 16.

As for strength of victory, that too goes to Oakland at this point. The Raiders’ strength of victory is at .471. The Patriots’ is at .370.

But the tiebreaker that kicks in after conference record and before strength of victory – common games – is very much unresolved.The remaining picture as it stands right now? The Ravens are the No. 3 seed with a 7-5 record that leads the AFC North. The Texans’ 6-6 record is good enough to lead the AFC South. The 9-3 Chiefs are the top Wild Card. The 8-4 Broncos are the No. 6 seed.

The Patriots play the Ravens and Broncos over the next two weeks. Currently, the Dolphins (7-5) and Steelers (7-5) are on the outside looking in.

The Titans (6-6) will have a chance to get even with the Texans in Week 17 in head-to-head matchups but they host Denver and play at Kansas City the next two weeks so they have obstacles to clear before they get there.

AFC PLAYOFF RACE: Steelers end Giants' winning streak at 6 in 24-14 victory

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AFC PLAYOFF RACE: Steelers end Giants' winning streak at 6 in 24-14 victory

PITTSBURGH - The Pittsburgh Steelers ended the New York Giants' winning streak with a familiar formula.

Ben Roethlisberger passed for 289 yards and two touchdowns, Le'Veon Bell rolled up 182 yards of total offense, and Pittsburgh's resurgent defense harassed Eli Manning into a flurry of mistakes in a dominant 24-14 win on Sunday.

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