By A.Sherrod Blakely
BOSTON One man goes down. Someone steps up.
It has been like that all season for the Boston Celtics.
So when Marquis Daniels went down with a bruised spinal cord injury recently the Celtics were not in panic mode, even though losing Daniels for the next month or two will rob them of their most versatile player off the bench.
Someone has to fill the void left by Daniels, and all indications are that it will be Von Wafer.
We have seen Wafer play well in spurts, in part because those were the only minutes made available to him.
But the more we see Wafer play, the more he shows signs of being a much more complete player than the shot-chucking-guard label that has followed him throughout his NBA career.
"This team has embraced me, and taught me," Wafer told CSNNE.com. "In the past, people just beat me up, but this team, they took me in and showed me the right way to do it. And it's paying dividends."
Now that an opportunity to play more exists, we'll see if the 6-foot- 5 guard will do what so many of his teammates have already done.
One man goes down. Someone else steps up.
Mavericks pose great challenge to C's
When Danny Ainge went about putting this Celtics team together this summer, the goal was to have a squad that would challenge the Los Angeles Lakers.
But it's becoming clear that the C's might face an even bigger foe out West - and it's not the San Antonio Spurs, who have the league's best record.
It's the Dallas Mavericks, the only team to sweep the C's thus far this season.
When you look at the teams out West, the Mavericks present a series of challenges that few others do for the C's.
They have a nice 1-2 punch at center in Tyson Chandler and Brendan Haywood.
And as we know, when the playoffs roll around, size does matter.
The Mavs are led by 32-year-old Dirk Nowitzki, who is still one of the best players in the NBA.
Future Hall of Famer Jason Kidd is nearing the end of his career, but he's still one of the tougher point guard matchups in the NBA.
Although the Mavericks don't appear to have as much depth as the C's, they do have a pair of high impact scorers in Jason Terry and Shawn Marion, along with Haywood coming off the bench.
Dallas recently added Peja Stojakovic to their roster, giving them even more offensive firepower off the bench.
"This is a good fit for me," Stojakovic told CSNNE.com. "We have a lot of really good shooters here already."
It all adds up to a talented team that may present an even bigger challenge to the C's than the two-time NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers.
Trade deadline coming up
With the trading deadline just a couple weeks away, the Celtics will do as they always do and make calls to see if there's a way to improve their roster.
Because of all the injuries, there's a knee-jerk reaction to believe that, yes, the C's need to make a move.
Not so fast, people!
We're 51 games into the season, and the Celtics have yet to play a single game with the player rotation they expect to have for the playoffs.
But there are reasons why the C's aren't likely to make a deal.
Any deal involves having assets that 1) you're willing to part with, and 2) others might be interested in acquiring.
The Celtics appear to come up short on one or both of those fronts.
But that's OK.
We've seen what the Celtics can do with a roster that's not at full strength.
Knowing that most of their injured players will be back in time for the playoffs is reason enough for the Celtics to stand pat and give this team - one constructed to go deep into the playoffs - a chance to bring home Banner 18 as they are constructed now.