Daniels proves to be ready when Rivers calls

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Daniels proves to be ready when Rivers calls

BOSTON -- For as long as Marquis Daniels has been on the Boston Celtics, he has stayed true to two mantras.

Never too high, never too low.

Stay ready when your numbers called.

On Friday, both contributed to one of his most impressive postseason performances during the Celtics 101-91 Game 3 win over the Miami Heat.

Marquis was phenomenal tonight, said Doc Rivers.

After playing less than two minutes in the first two games of the series combined, Rivers turned to Daniels with over a minute left in the first quarter. His impact was nearly as sudden as his reprieve from the bench.

In only 17 minutes, he posted nine points (4-6 FG, 1-2 FT), five rebounds, an assist, and a steal. He finished the game with a - of plus-14.

Marquis hasnt really played a lot for us in this series, but when his name was called upon, he was ready, said Paul Pierce. Thats what being a professional is all about. Every day he comes in, gets his work in. Doc called upon him tonight and he did a tremendous job guarding LeBron (James). He even contributed on the offensive end and that was huge for us.

Daniels provided an offensive spark while locking down on defense, all because he has stayed poised for the moment Rivers called his name.

I stay in every day at the shootaround, come in early, and keep working out because you never know when your number is going to be called, Daniels said . So you have to be ready for whenever it is.

A year ago, Daniels didnt know when whenever would be. In February of 2011, he experienced temporary paralysis and crashed into the parquet during a game against the Orlando Magic. He learned he suffered from spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal canal, which would require surgery.

With the future of his NBA career in question, Daniels took his road to recovery one day at a time, never getting too high or too low over progress or setbacks.

Once making his return to the court and re-signing with the Celtics last winter, Daniels carried that mindset into the season. His minutes decreased. His role lessened from years passed. All along, he stuck with his rules to live by.

Never too high, never too low.

Stay ready when your numbers called.

Doc told me the last two games, Be ready. Youre going to play tonight, Daniels said. He didnt say anything to me tonight. Hopefully he doesnt say anything to me next game.

Thomas won’t play Friday night vs. Raptors

Thomas won’t play Friday night vs. Raptors

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Celtics are about to hit one of the toughest stretches of the season and they’ll have to do it for at least one more game without their leading scorer, Isaiah Thomas. 
 
Thomas, who suffered a right groin injury on Monday against the Houston Rockets, did not play on Wednesday against Orlando and said that he will not play in Friday night’s game against the Toronto Raptors. 
 
“It’s day to day. I want to play. I want to be out there but it’s the smart decision to hold out and wait until it’s 100 percent,” Thomas said during a Season of Giving event for children of the Military Friends Foundation held at the Celtics’ practice facility. “If it was a playoff game I would be out there for sure.”
 
However, after consulting with a number of medical personnel, Thomas decided the best thing for him and the Celtics was to sit out Friday’s game which, along with Wednesday in Orlando, will be the first two he has missed since the 2014-2015 season. 
 
Thomas said there’s no specific timetable for his return, but he said he is planning to travel with the team to Oklahoma City for their matchup against the Thunder on Sunday. 
 
“It’s eating me a live to sit, but I have to do what’s best for my body, I have to do what’s best for this team,” Thomas said. “I need to be 100 percent healthy to give this team what I can give them.”
 
The Celtics are hoping for similar success they had Wednesday in Orlando (a 117-87 victory) on Friday against Toronto.
 
“They played a hell of a game last night,” Thomas said. “They’ll be ready tomorrow.”
 
The fact that Thomas intends to travel with the team is a good sign that the groin injury isn’t too serious. 
 
If he doesn’t play at Oklahoma City, that likely means he’ll return to action on Wednesday at San Antonio. 
 
“I’m going to do what I can to get back out there on the court,” Thomas said. “I gotta be smart about this. I don’t want this to linger on this season.”
 
Replacing Smart in the lineup against Toronto will most likely be Marcus Smart. 
 
Smart, who has been a replacement starter at small forward and point guard this season, had 13 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals against the Magic.