Daniels makes most of surprise appearance

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Daniels makes most of surprise appearance

DENVER When you've been coaching as long as Doc Rivers has, sometimes you put guys on the floor for no reason other than a hunch.

That's the only explanation for Rivers' decision to play Marquis Daniels meaningful minutes in Boston's 98-91 loss at Denver.

Daniels responded to the unexpected assignment with eight points on 3-for-5 shooting, along with two rebounds and an assist in just under 20 minutes.
To put Daniels' night in perspective, the eight points scored on Saturday were just two points less than he scored in the entire month of March.

"Whenever my number's called, I just want to make sure I'm ready," Daniels said. "So I can go out there and perform at a high level."

Daniels, who came into the NBA as an undrafted player out of Auburn, has been in every role imaginable in the NBA.

That experience helps him prepare for situations like Saturday, when Rivers tapped him to play.

After the game, Rivers talked about Paul Pierce's foul trouble (Pierce eventually fouled out for the first time this season) as being a factor in his decision to go with Daniels.

But in recent games Rivers had gone with Sasha Pavlovic, who did not play (coaches decision) against the Nuggets.

"Every once in a while you have a gut feeling and Daniels played great for us," Rivers said.

Some players would pout -- or worse, demand to be traded -- if their role gets reduced the way Daniels' has this season.

But if you've been around Daniels, you quickly understand that's not how he operates.

Losing minutes is a drop in the bucket of life for this guy.

Being able to simply put on an NBA uniform, is a reward that Daniels cherishes.

Daniels suffered a potentially career-ending neck injury last season with the C's. After surgery and months of rehabilitation, he was able to return to the floor this year.

"It's going to take a lot for me to be like, 'Man, just forget it,' " Daniels said. "I was paralyzed at one point last season. So I'm just happy, and blessed. I thank God that I'm able to walk, let alone be able to play."

Clayborn beats out Seymour, Vrabel to enter Patriots Hall of Fame

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Clayborn beats out Seymour, Vrabel to enter Patriots Hall of Fame

Raymond Clayborn has been voted into the Patriots Hall of Fame, beating out both Mike Vrabel and Richard Seymour for the honor. The corner, who is tied for the franchise record for interceptions with Ty Law (36), will be the 26th person inducted to the Hall. 

Clayborn was a three-time Pro Bowler (1983, 1985, 1986) during his 13-year Patriots career from 1977 through 1989. He was drafted by the Patriots in the first round (16th overall) out of Texas in 1977, and chipped in both in the secondary and as a kick returner. As a rookie in the return game, he averaged 31 yards per return and brought back three for touchdowns. 

Clayborn reacted to the news on Twitter soon after the announcement was made. 

"I was fortunate to be a season ticket holder during Raymond's entire Patriots career," Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft said in a statement. "For the first half of his career, he teamed with Michael Haynes to form one of the best corner tandems in league history. Throughout his career, Raymond was a physical, shutdown corner.

"One of my favorite memories was watching the 1985 team advance to the Super Bowl after Raymond helped us break the Orange Bowl curse when he stymied future Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino with a dominant performance against Pro Bowl receivers Mark Duper and Mark Clayton. Raymond had six passes defensed and an interception to help us claim our first conference title. It was the greatest upset victory in franchise history at the time and one the entire New England region celebrated. It is a well-deserved honor and I look forward to presenting him his hall of fame jacket."

Clayborn has been a finalist for each of the last four years but was not able to generate enough support in the annual online vote to beat out Ty Law (2014 inductee), Willie McGinest (2015) or Kevin Faulk (2016). Clayborn was eligible to be voted in by the senior committee since he's now been retired for 25 years, but he did not receive the requisite eight of 10 senior committee votes to be elected in that way. 

As it turns out, he didn't need to be. When Kraft called Clayborn with the news, he said Clayborn received over 40 percent of the vote to beat out the pair of three-time Super Bowl champs.