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NBA / Apr 29, 2010 / 3:00 pm

Boston’s answer for LeBron: Marquis Daniels

When the Celtics picked up Marquis Daniels in the offseason, you might have thought they primarily wanted him for scoring off the bench; a more under-control offensive weapon with a higher basketball IQ than Tony Allen.

But as Boston prepares for a conference semifinal matchup with the Cavs, Daniels — who played a total of six minutes in the first round against Miami — is being called upon for his defense. Along with Paul Pierce, the 6-6, 200-pound Daniels should be a key part of the defensive game plan against LeBron James. From the Boston Herald:

Celts coach Doc Rivers knows his substitutes will be very important against the Cavaliers.

“We don’t need them all, but we need a couple in every series,” Rivers said. “This is a series we may need Marquis because of LeBron. He’s done decent against him.”

Before Daniels tore ligaments in his left thumb, requiring surgery in December, he was indispensable off the pine. That was evident in the season opener in Cleveland six months ago when the subs saved the day, and Daniels led the way with a plus-11.

Now he’s hoping for a similar opportunity.

“He told me to be ready for it,” Daniels said of Rivers. “I’ve just been trying to stay upbeat and positive about whatever goes on, so whenever my name’s called or my number’s called, I’ll be ready.”

Being ready for LeBron James is a tenuous proposition at best.

“The guy can do a lot of good things,” Daniels said. “If he gets his jump shot going, he can drive and pass the ball extremely well. The best you can do is just try to make it uncomfortable for him.”

Before I started closely following the Indiana Pacers last season, I didn’t know too much about Daniels other than he’d dropped buckets at Auburn, he had some crazy tattoos (the guy eating a shotgun on Daniels’ forearm is particularly powerful), and he sometimes looked like an aerobics instructor on the court with his legwarmers and other accessories.

Last year, though, I got an appreciation for Daniels’ game. Among the League’s bench guys, Daniels is one of the best at moving without the ball and creating shots for himself. He’s crafty with the ball, and averaging 13.6 points a night with Indiana, was often the #2 scoring option behind Danny Granger. Defensively, he wasn’t the guy who was gonna lock down Dwyane Wade or anything, but he was good enough to hold his own against some elite scorers.

The Celtics saw that, too, and after an injury-riddled season, now it’s time for their investment in Daniels to start paying off.

If you’re coaching the Celtics, how would you plan to guard LeBron?

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  • LakeShow84

    I would gather everyone before the tip..

    And pray..

  • fallinup

    If the key to the series is Marquis Daniels…. you might as well stop the car and take a bus back to Boston.

  • Bill

    Bron can and will go off, too bad his teammates (especially Mo Williams) will choke.

    Celts in 6.

  • http://www.SoulChorea.com Kermit The Washington

    I can’t express in words how happy I’ll be if the Celts win this series.

  • ballin

    I can’t believe how little Doc plays Marquis… it’s retarded. He’s better than the Gooch in every single way

  • Dagger

    If Lebron is healthy Daniels is a pitiful answer indeed.

  • control

    A 6’6, 200lb guy is the answer to guarding 6’9, 270+ LeBron? Is the question “How do we let LeBron break some play off scoring records?”.

    Boston doesn’t have an answer for LeBron, not many teams do, Paul Pierce is too much of a pussy, KG is too old to keep up, Nate Robinson is too short, Glenn Davis is too fat and stupid, Quis is too small and Rayray would probably get deaded somehow. I could see LeBron going for 25-9-9 or 30-10-10 in this series.

    Here’s to Cleveland sweeping the Douchbags.

  • sh!tfaced

    If he takes the load in guarding LeBron, then who’s tick is Marquis gonna take? Pierce or Allen? It cant be Rondo or KG.

  • rkirby

    this article could be subtitled “why cleveland will beat the celtics”

  • life-p

    LOL..you guys are funny. Cavs in 1. Yeah, I said 1 game..

  • K Dizzle

    “The Celtics saw that, too, and after an injury-riddled season, now it’s time for their investment in Daniels to start paying off.”

    When’s the investment in Sheed and Nate gonna start to pay off?

  • rodnets

    is he going to borrow some Arenas gun? and shot LJ in the face? thats the only way of stopping him

  • Kamron

    The answer (of course) is that the Celts would be defending as a team, not playground one-on-one. Daniels/Pierce/whomever will just be the first line of defense- no one can defend elite NBA scorers one-on-one.

    Whether or not they’ll do as good a job as they did in 2008 of both cutting penetration while recovering on shooters, these are the real questions of the series, not whether Daniels can lock LeBron up. I think LeBron has grown up enough and KG (the heart of the D) has aged enough to tip the balance in favor of Cleveland tho, even if the Celts keep their focus. Only way the Celts win is if the D frustrates LeBron and he reverts to launching jumpers in crunch time.

    As for the guy who thinks Nate Robinson or Glenn Davis are going to be guarding LeBron- try watching some basketball someday, it’s a really fun game. You might find that you enjoy it even more than jerking off to your LeBron fanfic collection.

  • bola

    @15

    i agree with the first 2/3 of your comment but i don’t think your third paragraph made any sense.. i believe the guy just listed all the potential (although far fetched) players who could be guarding LBJ.. the point is.. there is no one in the C’s who could hang with LBJ.. or he just hated the Celtics and a found away to trash them.. hahaha

  • Kamron

    i believe the guy just listed all the potential (although far fetched) players who could be guarding LBJ

    There is no player on the Celts less likely to try to guard LBJ than Nate I think (except maybe Doc Rivers)- even the bigs like Perkins are more likely to get him on a switch.
    But I agree, he just wanted to trash talk about the Celts, I doubt he knows a thing about basketball.

    . the point is.. there is no one in the C’s who could hang with LBJ

    Or Kevin Durant, or Kobe, or Dwight Howard, or Tim Duncan (on a good day anyway), or Chris Paul, or Deron Williams, etc. Remember that the 2008 Celts kept Kobe at bay long enough to put the Lakers down 4-2, and KG hasn’t lost that much.

  • control

    Kamron

    I was breaking down Boston’s players from the sg-sf-pf position and how they wouldn’t be able to guard LeBron. If you have watched basketball, then you would realize that not all players guard the player who is exactly in their position on the other team, sometimes a sg will guard a pg, or a sg will guard a sf. Since LeBron is a sf, is it really unrealistic to think that maybe Doc Rivers will try throwing different looks at LeBron, going big and slow, then smaller and quick?

    Yeah, I was taking a quick chance to talk shit about the Celtics, how does that mean that I don’t know the game of basketball? If you’ve been on this site awhile, then you should realize that I am one of the better educated posters here, so quit being a fucktard.

  • ENEW

    @Control
    Slow yourself down a bit, actually make that ALOT.
    Your hatred for the Celtics is one thing, lets not insult everyone else that doesn’t see things your way.
    @Kamron
    Don’t stoop to that level after such a good post.

    #1-no one in the league can guard LeBron 1v1…I hope that is obvious to everyone.

    #2-Amazing what people post about Paul Pierce. The guy was stabbed multiple times to within an inch of his life in September of 2000 and was ready to go for the season opener. Oh yeah, he was 2008 finals MVP when outplayed Kobe and at towards top of the Celtics record books in multiple categories. He got there obviously by being a “pussy”.

    #3-Doc Rivers has a chance to really leave a mark as an NBA coach if he can mix up the defense end to keep LeBron slightly off balance. There is NO stopping LeBron, but there are opportunities to disrupt his rhythm and limit easy baskets for everyone else.

    #4-The Celtics resurgence since the summer of 2007 has been very good for basketball. So whether you are a Celtic die hard like myself or a hater be happy we have a team like them in the league. A TEAM.

  • Kamron

    is it really unrealistic to think that maybe Doc Rivers will try throwing different looks at LeBron, going big and slow, then smaller and quick

    It is unrealistic to think that Doc Rivers would use Nate or Big Baby on LeBron to ‘throw him a different look’- all he would get is ‘different looks’ of LeBron dunking. Neither of those guys have a snowballs chance of guarding him. Rondo or Sheed would make more sense from the PG or PF slots than either of those two, and still probably a big mistake.
    A coach might throw a *fast* PF or a *big* G at LeBron to switch things up. Not a *slow* PF or a *small* G. What coach could get paid cash money to put a 5’9″ guard on a strong 6’9″ SF?
    And, for fuck’s sake, Nate is averaging like 5 minutes a game in the playoffs- what kind of analysis picks the lamest possible defender off of the end of the bench? That is as stupid as staying that Ray Allen is going to go off on Daniel Gibson all series. And when they switch to guarding him with Jawad Williams, watch out!!1!!!!

    If you’ve been on this site awhile, then you should realize that I am one of the better educated posters here

    Thus we get such brilliant basketball analysis as Paul Pierce is too much of a pussy. I gave you exactly what your ‘analysis’ called for, sorry for the butthurtz.
    Lebron has been fast, strong, and 6’9″ every year that he’s been in the league and he doesn’t have a ring yet. The Cavs have lost many playoff series despite the other team not having the perfect LeBron defender. And again- if you watched basketball, you would understand this.

    I like the game of basketball. And to me that means liking the players, for the most part (exceptions for dirty players like Bruce Bowen). So I’ve never understood the fanboi putdowns. You can like LeBron without insulting every other team and every player who might be guarding him in the playoffs. When you go on like that it sounds IMO like you want to blow the guy, not watch him play basketball.

  • Bizz

    Womp Womp….. Kamron just controlled Control, without a controller. LMAO

  • cheif youngblood

    celts in 7 , it doesn’t matter how many looks you can give a team depending on matchup, when those looks depend on guys like anthony parker , Mo williams ( who is gonna get run ragged by rondo ) and Moon. I just don’t see it. The celts are a veteran , team , they’re gonna play better in the playoffs than 58 games into the season their fuckin old.it happens.

    but the folks that think james is gonna run away with this series , need to learn a little respect for a good coach and a real basketball team