Daniels happy to be home for the holidays

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Daniels happy to be home for the holidays

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com

For many of the Boston Celtics, a Christmas Day game in Orlando means packing up the family and heading down to Florida. For others, it means being away from loved ones who live elsewhere.

For Marquis Daniels, however, it means going home for the holidays.

Daniels grew up in Orlando, where his mother and step-father still reside. Even though his family is dispersed around the country now, they will be together on Christmas.

Its going to be great, he told CSNNE.com, Just to be around family.

Daniels two children, Syriah (4) and Antwane (2), live with his wife in Georgia where they attend school. His oldest brother lives in Indiana, while his younger brother is a student in Alabama.

Daniels hasnt been home for Thanksgiving since his junior year of high school, so he looks forward to being in Orlando for the second straight season on Christmas, thanks to the NBA schedule.

Two times in a row, thats great, he said. Its rare that you get to do that. I had to put that in my contract (laughs).

And when Daniels returns to Florida, he will be reaching out to more than just his relatives.

Daniels formed the Q6 Foundation as a way to give back to underprivileged children in the Orlando community. He has since performed outreach in every city he has played, including Boston.

It revolves around sickle cell in amateur sports, he explained. Its an epidemic that goes unheard of in the black community, and it affects the black community a lot.

Daniels knows the impact of sickle cell anemia firsthand. He was in shock the first time he ever witnessed the effects of the disease.

My wife, her youngest brother has a full case of it, he said. When I first saw it, I was like what is wrong with him? All his bones just locked up on him and he locked up. He was so stiff. He was crying. He was 18 and crying and I was like, what is wrong? I had never seen anything like it.

Daniels helped rush the teenager to the hospital, where he received one of many morphine treatments.

Hes immune to morphine now, thats how much hes had, Daniels said. Its bad.

The vision of suffering stuck with Daniels, and he became interested in learning more. Soon he would need to know more than he ever imagined.

Months after his daughter was born, routine tests revealed that she carried the genetic trait for the disease.

You dont want anything to happen to your kids, regardless of what it is, he said. Once I found that out, I was like, 'Ok I need to find out more so when she gets older, she can be educated on it also.

Fortunately Syriah does not have a full case of the disease, but it could affect her in years to come. Daniels explains that she cannot have a baby with another carrier of the trait because there is a chance the child could have sickle cell anemia.

Daniels wife also carries the trait, and he recently found out his mother does as well (his son does not). With so many people in life touched by sickle cell anemia, Daniels felt compelled to help.

Theres stuff about it that I wanted to get out there, he said.

According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, approximately 1 in 12 African Americans carry the trait. Daniels has used the Q6 Foundation as a platform to raise awareness.

On Christmas Eve, he will host a holiday event in Orlando for children of single mothers who have been affected by the sickle cell anemia. In partnership with Kmart Kares and Lil Caesars Pizza, the Q6 Foundation will donate bikes to the children and Kmart gift cards to the mothers.

Daniels has also taken his cause to the international level. He has already begun outreach in Haiti (he met with the mayor this fall) and plans to conduct a basketball camp there next summer. Theyre big Celtics fans, he points out.

Whether it is delivering a bicycle in Orlando or teaching a child how to play "net ball," as basketball is referred to in Haiti, Daniels hopes each event will work toward his ultimate goal of beating the disease.

I just want to spread the word, to get everybody out there to hear about it, he said. Hopefully try to find a cure for it and just take advantage of it and try to help people out that go through that process.

For Daniels, being able to spend time with his family and help others makes the holidays even brighter.

Follow Jessica Camerato on Twitter at http:www.twitter.comjcameratonba

WATCH: Celtics vs. Rockets

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WATCH: Celtics vs. Rockets

Tune into CSN to watch the Celtics play the Rockets in Houston. You can also click here to watch the Celtics livestream presented by McDonald's on the NBC Sports App. Coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live Presented by ACE Ticket.

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Celtics-Rockets preview: Get ready for 3-point showdown

Celtics-Rockets preview: Get ready for 3-point showdown

Earlier this month the Boston Celtics took a season-high 42 three-pointers in a game which raised a few eyebrows. 

And you know what?

No one would be surprised if the Celtics (12-8) surpassed that total tonight when they face the Houston Rockets who have set the pace when it comes to launching 3-point bombs in the NBA this season with 37.0 attempts per game. 

The Celtics aren’t too far behind, averaging 30.8 three-pointers which ranks fifth in the NBA.

But what makes these two teams so unique is that in addition to taking a lot of 3s, they also rank among the NBA’s leaders when it comes to knocking them down. 

The Rockets (13-7) make an NBA-high 14.0 three-pointers per game while the Celtics are fifth in the league with 11.1 made 3s per game. 

And the key to that stat is that both teams shoot a surprisingly high percentage from 3-point range as well. 

Houston’s 37.8 percent from 3-point range is the fifth-best mark in the NBA while the Celtics shoot 36.0 percent on 3's which ranks 10th in the league. 

So what does all this 3-ball shooting mean? 

It means get your popcorn ready for what should be one of the more exciting, high-scoring games on the Boston Celtics’ schedule this season.

Here are some other key stats to keep tabs on during tonight’s game. 

 

FIRST QUARTER SCORING

There is no team in the NBA better at jumping on you from the outset, then Houston. They lead the NBA in first-quarter scoring with 31.2 points per game while shooting 51.9 percent in the quarter which is also tops in the NBA. But there’s a downside to their first quarter success. Houston’s first quarter defense is pretty bad, ranking 27th in the league in first-quarter points allowed (28.5) while allowing teams to shoot a league-worst 52.3 percent from the field in the game’s first 12 minutes. 

 

FOURTH QUARTER SCORING

As impressive as Houston is to start games, the Boston Celtics are just as dominant offensively in the fourth quarter. Boston averages a league-best 29.1 points per game in the fourth compared to the Rockets whose 24.4 points in the fourth ranks 21st in the NBA. Boston’s strong finish to games is aided by a defense that seems to save its best work for the fourth quarter. Opponents are shooting just 40.6 percent against the Celtics in the fourth which ranks as the third-best fourth quarter defense in the NBA.

 

OFFENSIVE REBOUND PERCENTAGE

Boston’s struggles on the boards are well documented which includes - but is certainly not limited to - offensive rebounding. The Rockets will present a major problem to Boston when it comes to trying to avoid Houston getting second and third-shot opportunities. The Rockets rank fifth in the NBA in second-chance points (15.3) per game while the Celtics’ defense allows 15.2 second-chance points which ranks 27th in the league. And Boston’s offensive rebounding percentage for opponents ranks dead-last in the NBA at .265.

 

BALL MOVEMENT

Both teams rank among the league leaders in assists per game with Boston’s 24.4 assists per game average No. 2 in the NBA and Houston’s 24.3 assists ranks fourth. But more telling is how the Celtics rely more heavily on keeping the ball moving, more so than the Rockets. You see this in Boston averaging 329.2 passes per game which ranks third in the NBA while the Rockets’ 273.5 passes per game average is 29th in the league. Still, Houston’s passing game is to be respected especially when you consider the lofty assists numbers they’ve racked up in addition to them getting 59.2 points created via the assist according to nba.com/stats

 

TURNOVERS

These two are at opposite ends of the basketball world when it comes to turnovers. Boston commits 12.3 per game which is the fourth-fewest committed in the NBA while the Rockets are turning the ball over 16.1 times per game and that ranks 27th in the league. And these two remain widely far apart in the fourth quarter which is when the Celtics turn the ball over a league-low 2.2 times per game in the fourth while Houston turns the ball more than twice as much (4.5) which ranks 29th in the league.