OFFSEASON

Daniels shrugs off thumb injury

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Daniels shrugs off thumb injury

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com

BOSTON - The thought crossed his mind as soon as he felt the pain.

Marquis Daniels had been in this situation before, and last time it cost him nearly half a season.

I was like, Not again, he said.

Daniels jammed his right thumb after attempting to catch a pass from Nate Robinson on Wednesday night against the Denver Nuggets. He felt his thumb get pulled back by a defender, and then watched his hand swell up.

Nate threw me a bad pass, Daniels joked loud enough for Robinson to overhear.

I did, I did. I admit it, Robinson laughed back. But he shouldve caught it.

Joking? About an injury?

Daniels is shrugging this one off. After undergoing surgery to repair torn ligaments in his left thumb last season, he isnt going to let a little sprain or jam - as he put it - hold him back.

Especially when staying healthy is so critical to his game.

For me, its very important because thats all I keep stressing all year, my health and staying healthy, he said. If I can stay healthy, I think the rest will take care of itself.

Daniels is a different player when he is playing fully healed. Last season he looked inconsistent and struggled to find his rhythm. This season, though, he has been the versatile swingman the Celtics need off the bench.

When players went down with injuries, Doc Rivers could turn to Daniels to step in. He gave the Celtics a major spark when Delonte West suffered a fractured wrist by contributing to nearly every category on the stat sheet.

"I thought he really changed the game," Paul Pierce said of Daniels after their November 24 win over the New Jersey Nets. "I thought his length really bothered the point guards. In the pick-and-roll, he was able to get over and under, switch it up, just showing his versatility, some of the things that he can do when he gets in the game."

And when hes healthy.

Im much more aggressive, Daniels said. I dont think about anything. I just go out there and just play the game, let everything just come to me. I get in passing lanes, deflect the ball, use my hands a lot more. Last year my thumb, I was thinking about it a lot, but Im ok now.

Daniels planned to have his right thumb iced and taped up by Celtics trainer Ed Lacerte. He expects to play in Thursdays game against the Philadelphia 76ers.

It hurt pretty good, but Im alright, though, he said. A little swelling but nothing no ice cant heal.

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

OFFSEASON

Boston Celtics announce 2016 preseason schedule

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Boston Celtics announce 2016 preseason schedule

New England fans will get their first glimpse at the 2016-2017 Boston Celtics when they kick off their preseason schedule on October 4 against the Philadelphia 76ers at UMass-Amherst’s Mullins Center.

That game will feature two of the top three picks in last month’s draft as Ben Simmons, the top overall pick, will face Jaylen Brown, who was drafted by the Celtics with the third overall pick.

Boston’s 7-game schedule features no back-to-back games, but they do face the Charlotte Hornets in their second and third preseason games on Oct. 6 (in Greensboro, N.C.) and Oct. 8 at Mohegan Sun Arena.

Here’s a look at Boston’s full preseason schedule:

DATE               OPPONENT                  LOCATION                                                        TIME
Oct. 4               Philadelphia 76ers         UMass-Amherst Mullins Center (Amherst, MA)     7:00 p.m. ET
Oct. 6               Charlotte Hornets          Greensboro Coliseum (Greensboro, NC)             7:30 p.m. ET
Oct. 8               Charlotte Hornets          Mohegan Sun Arena (Uncasville, CT)                  3:30 p.m. ET
Oct. 13             Brooklyn Nets               Barclays Center (Brooklyn, NY)                          7:30 p.m. ET
Oct. 15             New York Knicks           Madison Square Garden (New York, NY)             7:30 p.m. ET
Oct. 17             Brooklyn Nets               TD Garden (Boston, MA)                                   7:30 p.m. ET
Oct. 19             New York Knicks           TD Garden (Boston, MA)                                   7:30 p.m. ET

OFFSEASON

Rivers dismisses Griffin-to-Boston rumors, wants Pierce to retire with Celtics

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Rivers dismisses Griffin-to-Boston rumors, wants Pierce to retire with Celtics

Doc Rivers appeared on The Vertical Podcast with Adrian Wojnarowski and dismissed the Blake Griffin trade rumors, claiming that “bloggers” who “have nothing to do with the sport” were the cause of the Blake-to-Boston gossip.

“We are hoping that Blake ends his career playing for the Clippers,” Rivers told Woj. “No team is calling because teams know we don’t have any interest. It just tells you the different times. Things have changed. Everyone believes that they’re media now. There are so many good, credible guys, but then there’s some of the guys who are bloggers and have nothing to do with the sport.”

Rivers went on to explain that his youngest son, Spencer, even took the time out to trace the source of this "groundless" rumor.

“Danny [Ainge] and I have talked twice this summer. One was about the British Open, and the other was about another golf tournament. That’s about it,” Rivers explained. “But my son traced [where this rumor started] it to I think a Boston radio talk show and the guy didn’t say that we had been talking, but that Blake would be one of the guys the Celtics should go after. That started the next step, and then the next thing you know, it blew it up.”

Glenn Rivers sounds more like a politician than a doctor. Everyone knows politicians lie.

So Doc says he’s spoken to Danny only twice this summer -- both times about golf and “that’s about it.” But it's good to know they did apparently find the time to lay the groundwork for Paul Pierce to retire with the Celtics, if he does choose to call it a career.

“If Paul does decide to retire, we’re gonna make sure that Boston picks him up for one day and he retires a Celtic because that’s what he should retire as,” Rivers said. “We have all that in place. We just don’t know what he’s gonna do.”

Allowing Pierce to retire as a Celtic would be the right thing to do, for sure. He spent 15 seasons with the Celtics, won a title, and someday No. 34 will be hanging in the rafters. Ainge has also made it clear before that he'd love for Pierce to take on some type of front office role with the team after he retires from his playing career.

But Blake is the guy Celtics fans want now, so it’s understandable Doc would dispel the rumors regarding his four-time All-Star.

It doesn’t mean those conversations didn’t take place because trade talks happen every single day in the NBA. But considering Doc spent the opening minutes of the podcast discussing Blake, it certainly makes it seem like a deal is dead. At least for now.