Daniels understands how Green feels

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Daniels understands how Green feels

TORONTO You won't find a single member of the Boston Celtics who isn't feeling sympathy right now for fallen teammate Jeff Green.
The Celtics announced on Saturday that Green will miss the entire 2011-2012 season after an aortic aneurysm was discovered during a routine physical after he signed a one-year, 9 million contract that has since been voided.
Green will have surgery on Jan. 9 - a month to the day in which the aneurysm was discovered.
His situation hits especially close to home for Celtics forward Marquis Daniels, who ironically, will see his role enhanced with Green out.
It wasn't that long ago that it was Daniels, not Green, whose career was in jeopardy.
Daniels collided with then-Orlando guard Gilbert Arenas, jarring his neck on the play which left him momentarily motionless on the TD Garden floor.
Surgery on his spinal cord, followed by several months of rehabilitation, has brought Daniels back to the game he loves.

"This is a little different," said Celtics head coach Doc Rivers. "This is life-threatening stuff. For me, I always look at the player. I don't look at the team as much. We'll get to the team; that's our job. But like I said in the last case, we get to still do our jobs. When guys get injured like that, they don't and some may never (play again). Like with Quis, at the time, we thought it was forever. That's harsh; that's tough. Especially when you trained your life to do this job. So that's the way I look at it."

During his time away from the game, Daniels acknowledged that there were times when doubts about his return did creep into your mind.
That's where those close to you, Daniels said, play a vital role in the recovery that he says is both mentally and physically challenging.
As far as advice for Green, Daniels said the most important thing for him was to rely on faith, family and friends.
"As long as everybody's around, keeping his spirits up, he'll be fine," Daniels told CSNNE.com prior to today's preseason opener against Toronto.
Although he hasn't been around Green very long, Daniels has seen enough in the 25-year-old to believe that he will return to the NBA.
"Jeff's a competitor. He's a hard worker," Daniels said. "I have no doubt in my mind, he'll be back."

With Thomas drawing attention, Stevens turns to Rozier in big moment

With Thomas drawing attention, Stevens turns to Rozier in big moment

BOSTON – Prior to Saturday’s game, Terry Rozier talked to CSNNE.com about the importance of staying ready always, because “you never know when your name or number is going to be called.”

Like when trailing by three points in the fourth quarter with less than 10 seconds to play?

Yes, Rozier was on the floor in that scenario and the second-year guard delivered when his team needed it.

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But Rozier’s fourth quarter heroics which forced overtime against Portland, did not provide that much-needed jolt that Boston needed as the Blazers managed to fend off the Celtics in overtime, 127-123.

For Rozier’s part, he had 15 points on 6-for-13 shooting.

The 15 points scored for Rozier was the most for him since he tallied 16 in a 30-point Celtics win at Orlando on Dec. 7.

But more than the points, the decision by head coach Brad Stevens to draw up a play for him in that moment, a time when most of what Boston does revolves around the shooting of Isaiah Thomas who has been among the top-3 scorers in the fourth quarter most of this season, was surprising to many.

And at that point in the game, Thomas already had 13 fourth-quarter points.

Stevens confirmed after the game that the last shot in the fourth was indeed for Rozier, but Thomas’ presence on the floor was important to its execution.

“He (Thomas) also draws a lot of attention,” Stevens said. “So I think you just weigh kind of … what kind of shot you’re going to get, depending on who it is.”

Rozier had initially screened for Thomas, and Thomas came back and screened for him.

“I was open as soon as I caught … and I let it fly,” Rozier said. “Coach drew up a play for me and it felt good to see the ball go in.”

Being on the floor at that time, win or lose, was a victory of sorts for Rozier.

He has seen first-hand how quickly the tide can change in the NBA for a young player.

After a strong summer league showing and a solid training camp, Rozier had earned himself a firm spot in the team’s regular rotation.

But a series of not-so-great games coupled with Gerald Green’s breakout night on Christmas Day, led to his playing time since then becoming more sporadic.

Rozier, in an interview with CSNNE.com, acknowledged it hasn’t been easy going from playing regular minutes to not being sure how much court time, if any, he would receive.

But he says the veterans on the team have been good about keeping his spirits up, and one in particular – Avery Bradley – has been especially helpful.

Like Rozier, Bradley’s first couple of years saw his playing time go from non-existent to inconsistent. But Bradley stayed the course and listened to the team’s veterans who continued to tell him that his hard work would pay off sooner or later.

Those same words of wisdom Bradley received in his early days, he passes on to Rozier.

“It’s big,” Rozier told CSNNE.com. “He (Bradley) tells me things like that. I felt I was ready for this (inconsistent minutes) after all that he told me. It’s big to have a guy like him that has been through it all with a championship team, been around this organization for a while; have him talk to you is big. It’s always good. That’s why I stay positive, and be ready.”

Which is part of the reason why Stevens didn’t hesitate to call up a play for the second-year guard despite him being a 33.3 percent shooter from 3-point range this season – that ranks eighth on this team, mind you.

“He’s a really good shooter,” Stevens said of Rozier. “I think with more opportunity that will show itself true, but he made some big ones in the fourth quarter. We went to him a few different times out of time-outs, and felt good about him making that one.”

And to know that Stevens will turn to him not just to spell Thomas or one of the team’s other guards, but to actually make a game-altering play in the final seconds … that’s major.

“It helps tremendously,” said Rozier who added that his confidence is through “the roof. It makes me want to do everything. You know defense, all of that. It’s great, especially to have a guy like Brad trust you."