Daniels shakes off ankle injury, will play against Jazz

Daniels shakes off ankle injury, will play against Jazz

By A. Sherrod Blakely

BOSTON Doc Rivers confirmed that Marquis Daniels will play tonight, without any restrictions following left ankle sprain injury suffered against Detroit on Wednesday.

His play will be vital against a Jazz team that features a number of talented players off the bench like C.J. Miles.

Miles, who is averaging 12.2 points per game this season, has proven he can light up teams for big scoring nights at any time.

He has had 20 or more points scored nine times this season which ranks second among NBA reserves.

"Whenever my number is called, I'm going to come in and do whatever Doc (Rivers) needs me to do," Daniels said in a recent interview with CSNNE.com. "If it's score, rebound, defend it doesn't matter. I just want to help this team win."

In addition to updating the media on Daniels' status, Rivers also discussed the point guard matchup between Rajon Rondo and Utah's Deron Williams.

Both are among the top point guards in the NBA, but go about making an impact differently.

Rondo is more of a playmaker, evident by his league-best 13.2 assists per game.

Williams has the ability to hurt teams both as a scorer and playmaker.

He's averaging 22.1 points and 9.5 assists per game. Only once (Chris Paul, 2008-2009 season) has a player averaged as many points and assists in a single season.

Rondo has said in the past that he does look forward to facing the game's top point guards.

"He's human," Riers said of Rondo. "We had a game here where Rondo was terrific. We had a game there where Deron just dominated our whole team. Everyone has a memory. If not, we try to jostle it a little bit."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn.

Celtics hope to rebound after being outplayed by Bulls on the boards

Celtics hope to rebound after being outplayed by Bulls on the boards

Following Thursday’s 105-99 loss to the Chicago Bulls, the Boston Celtics will be on the prowl to rebound – literally – from its first defeat of the season.

Because for all that did not go right in Thursday night’s loss, the way Boston was beaten on the boards stands out emphatically.

“They got 24 more shots than us. We only turned it over (12) times,” Celtics head coach Brad Stevens told reporters after the loss. “So that’s the obvious place they’re getting their possessions, on the glass. That’s going to be the number one thing, that has been the number one thing. It’s something we’ve talked about. We have to get better at it.”


Boston was out-rebounded 55-36 on the boards which heavily factored into Chicago’s 18-5 advantage in second-chance points.

In the Celtics' 122-117 win over Brooklyn on Wednesday, Boston won the overall rebounding battle 47-44, but had just 12 offensive rebounds compared to Brooklyn's 15 offensive boards. Despite the close margin, the Nets won the battle on the offensive glass running away, outscoring the Celtics 23-13 in second-chance points.

Stevens decided to start Tyler Zeller ahead of Amir Johnson to begin the third quarter, hoping Zeller would be a better matchup on the glass than Johnson who did not grab a single rebound in the 11 minutes of court time he got in the first half.

While Zeller did do a few good things on the glass and scoring in half-court sets, it wasn’t enough to swing the momentum Chicago was steadily gaining due to its ability to control the boards.

“I wasn’t real surprised but at the same time I knew it could happen,” Zeller told reporters, referring to Stevens’ decision to have him start the second half. “They did a good job of coming out and setting the tone. They beat us up on the boards, especially the first half. It’s something we have to get better at and continue to grow at.”

And it’s not a one-player or one-position issue, either.

Usually we think of bigs when it comes to rebounding. But Boston’s guards need to step up their rebounding game as well.

The struggles thus far have to be put in the context of this being just two games, the latter being the season opener for the Bulls who were jacked up more than usual due to it being the first game for Chicago native Dwyane Wade and ex-Celtic Rajon Rondo.

“We have to focus on boxing out,” said Boston’s Jaylen Brown. “Guards have to do a better job. Guys like me, Al (Horford), Amir (Johnson), Tyler (Zeller) ... We have to do a good job of coming in the weak side and grabbing those; just focus on it, pay more attention to detail.”