Daniels staying positive through reduced minutes


Daniels staying positive through reduced minutes

Marquis Daniels' past three seasons with the Boston Celtics have been filled with ups and downs, an irony for the swingman whos mantra is never too high, never too low.

There was a time when Daniels was expected to be one of the Celtics best assets off their bench. And just as quickly, there was a time when he was unsure if he would ever be able to play basketball again.

This season is different. In 2010, Marquis Daniels struggled with injuries to establish a consistency on his new team. In 2011, his season abruptly came to an end when a career-threatening spinal condition was discovered. In 2012, he is appreciative to be playing basketball again.

With me, its bigger than basketball, he told CSNNE.com. Im just happy to be up, walking around in general. So I dont take anything for granted. Not just this basketball season, just in general. Going out there and playing hard every time I do get out there.

Just over a year ago, Daniels discovered he suffered from spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal canal, following a frightening spill against the Orlando Magic which left him temporarily paralyzed. He was traded to the Sacramento Kings weeks later (he never played for them), underwent spinal surgery, and spent his extended offseason rehabbing.

The experience changed his perspective on life, both on and off the court. The 31-year-old father now approaches everyday moments with a greater sense of urgency and appreciation.

I used to be a, OK, its tomorrow type of guy. Now its more of, Ive got to do it right now, he explained. Sometimes you may go a day and say, I may call this person tomorrow or, I may do this tomorrow. But nothings promised to you, so I just try take to take advantage of every moment I get.

Daniels returned to the Celtics -- and basketball -- when he signed as a free agent in December. The roster changed, though. The Cs added more depth to their bench, including fellow swingmen Mickael Pietrus and Sasha Pavlovic.

His spot in the rotation dropped and, in turn, so did his minutes. Daniels is averaging a career-low 13.6 minutes per game in his ninth season, down from 18.4 in 2010 and 19.1 last season.

He sees time, though, as 13.6 minutes he gets to spend on the court.

Im just trying to stay ready for whenever my names called and just go out there and play basketball, he said.

Without a consistent role he has to be prepared at all times. Daniels sticks to a dedicated routine, hitting the gym for extra work on off days and arriving early to the arena on game days.

How early?

Fifteen, 20 minutes after Ray (Allen), he said.

While he is not going to get too low over his playing time, that doesnt mean he isnt fighting for minutes. He balances wanting to play more and enjoying the time he is playing.

Theres a competitive nature in you, you still want to play a lot of minutes, he said. But like I said, I just try to go out there and take advantage of every minute I get. I still want to play, but 10 minutes, five minutes, four minutes, 30 minutes, whatever it is, I still want to play, and I want to play a lot. Its a competitive nature.

Daniels role on the Celtics is different than it has been in the past. Then again, his career is different than it was this time last season. After everything he has been through, the pure feeling of being back on the basketball court is better than any extreme.

I just roll with the punches, he said. Ive been through a lot so it takes a lot for me to get too high or too low. I just keep playing. Theres always another game the next night.

Red Sox make Mitch Moreland signing official


Red Sox make Mitch Moreland signing official

The Red Sox officially announced the signing of first baseman Mitch Moreland Thursday. To make room for him on the 40-man roster, the team designated left-handed pitcher Williams Jerez for assignment. 

Moreland has played his entire career with the Rangers, winning a Gold Glove at first base last season. He hit .233/.298/.422 with 22 homers and 60 RBI for the Rangers last season before becoming a free agent. He has a career batting average of .254, with a career-high 23 homers in both the 2013 and 2015 seasons. 

A second-round pick of the Red Sox in the 2011 draft, Jerez started his professional career as an outfielder before being moved to pitcher. 

John Harbaugh: Ravens’ trickery different than Patriots ‘deceptive’ formation

John Harbaugh: Ravens’ trickery different than Patriots ‘deceptive’ formation

FOXBORO – John Harbaugh explained on Thursday the difference between the rules loophole his Ravens exploited recently and the one the Patriots exploited in the 2014 AFC Divisional Playoff Game that caused him to cry, “Foul.”

What it boiled down to? Everyone knew about the loophole the Ravens took advantage of when they committed an en masse holding penalty at the end of the game against the Bengals. 

Nobody had seen what the Patriots successfully pulled off when they made eligible receivers ineligible and vice versa and went on a touchdown drive that changed the tenor of the game.

“You’re right. I don’t want to get into all that,” Harbaugh said when I asked what the difference was. “That’s all been hashed out. I believe what I believe and I think it’s all been proven to be right.

“The point about [the punt hold] is, it’s been talked about, it’s been looked at, it’s been something that’s been used for 20 years so it’s nothing new,” he explained. “It’s nothing that hadn’t been addressed before by officials or the competition committee.”

Harbaugh said that, in Super Bowl 47, his Ravens used the tactic and his brother Jim, coach of the Niners, took it up with the Competition Committee. John Harbaugh supported the change, he said. The league declined.  

“Everybody knew about that so it didn’t create an unfair advantage for anybody,” said Harbaugh.

LISTEN: New Quick Slants podcast w/ more stories of Ravens antics

After the Patriots beat Baltimore in a tremendous game, Harbaugh was in a snit in his postgame press conference alleging the “nobody’s ever seen that [eligible-ineligible trickery] before.” He said the play was “illegal” and “deceptive.”

I mentioned that Alabama had run the play in a nationally televised game against LSU and that the Titans had done the same thing on a game-ending play against the Jets a few weeks earlier.

Aside from whether or not the information was accurately communicated by the officials, the tone of Harbaugh’s comments left little room for interpretation. He indicated the Patriots were underhanded and that his comments seemed to discredit New England.

“That was not the intent and if you go back and read my comments at the time and the tone of it anybody that takes it that way is taking it the wrong way,” said Harbaugh. “That was not the point of it at all. You had an eligible receiver that wasn’t identified and an ineligible receiver that wasn’t identified as such. The official had no way to identify that for the defense so there was no signal or any other way that they could do that. That was something that was addressed the very next week. If somebody wants to look at it some certain way, that’s not my concern.”

When I offered that referee Bill Vinovich not only identified Shane Vereen as being ineligible but added, “Don’t cover 34…” over the stadium mic, Harbaugh wasn’t having it.  

“That’s not something that had ever been gone over,” he insisted. “Players were never taught don’t cover that player. When you’re on the field, you can’t hear that microphone. That’s not something you can even hear or are listening for. The next week there was a tweak.”

Indeed there was. And not just with the officials then being on the hook to make more detailed announcements. The further tweak, perhaps spurred by the formation chicanery and Tom Brady’s recommendation that Baltimore “study the rules” came when the Ravens passed on intel to the Colts for the AFC Championship Game. One of the recommendations from Ravens special teams coach Jerry Rosburg was to watch that the Patriots’ sideline staff didn’t monkey with the kicking balls. That was included in a letter to NFL Operations man Mike Kensil along with an allegation that it was “well known around the league” that the Patriots deflate footballs before the game and that the league needed to keep an eye on that.

Harbaugh hasn’t hidden from the fact he found Brady’s comment offensive.

"I was pissed off," he said this past summer. "It was uncalled for. And the rules are deeper than that, and I know the rules, and I stand by why that play shouldn't have been allowed...So yeah, that should never have been said."

He has, however, disavowed any talk by his staff about the Patriots allegedly deflating footballs. "Any conversation that was had with the Colts had nothing to do with deflated footballs, which is what we've been saying since the very start," Harbaugh said in 2015. "I know that we've answered the questions from the beginning to the end very simply. Our yes is yes. Our no is no. We've answered questions directly and honestly and straightforward from the start."

Whether the Patriots’ formation plays and the Ravens response to it led to a $30M investigation that hijacked the NFL’s attention for 20 months and resulted in a four-game suspension for Brady is still not definitively known. Could Rosburg and the Colts equipment man have possibly discussed kicking ball chicanery without sharing notes on the belief the Patriots deflated footballs? Rosburg and former Patriots defensive coordinator and current Ravens coach Dean Pees were both spoken to by investigator Ted Wells. What did they offer

Just like everything else between Ravens and Patriots, it’s complicated.