While this afternoon was understandably marked with glee from the Celtics faithful, there was one particular moment that filled many with deep-seated concern. Partway through the 2nd quarter, Celtics reserve guard Marquis Daniels went down with what looked like a potentially career ending injury. Making a first move to the basket, Marquis tucked his head low and swung his arms across his body in an attempt to move baseline against defender Gilbert Arenas. Instead of freeing himself from Arenas’ body, he instead met with it head on. Marquis’ head buckled backwards as it collided with Arenas’ chest, causing him to fall to the ground and lay motionless. The Celtics trainers and medical staff came to the court to remedy the situation, but as time passed it became evident that the injury was going to be one of great concern. Eventually a stretcher came to retrieve Daniel’s where he was taken to a nearby hospital.
By the time the broadcast was over with no new information had been gathered regarding the injury. The ABC commentary crew of Breen, Van Gundy, and Jackson said that Danny Ainge would be addressing the issue at the post game press conference. It was there that Ainge stated, “He’s moving, he’s fine. His arms and his legs, everything is fine.” Ainge went on to report that Marquis suffered a bruised spine and the injury would result in his absence for a 1-2 month period. With Daniel’s on the shelf, young guard Von Wafer will likely be getting many of the reps as backup SG. With Daniels out this afternoon, Wafer played 13 minutes and went 1-2 from the field with 2 points and 2 rebounds.
It is no secret that injuries have plagued the Celtics all season long. Shaquille O’Neal presently remains out with an inflamed Achilles tendon. The injury has him at day-to-day status, but the Celtics continue to err on the side of caution. Shaq at age 38 is of course the oldest player in the league. The other O’Neal– Jermaine– just recently underwent surgery on his left knee, prompting an announcement that he will be sidelined for the rest of the season. He could return in time for the playoffs, but nothing is guaranteed. Delonte West, who injured his wrist in late November, has pointed towards February 22nd as a potential return date. That would be after the Celtics current grueling stretch of basketball, but just in time for him to make the annual trip out west with the team where they will face Golden State, Denver, the Clippers, and Utah. Not a horrible stretch to get re-acclimated to the lineup.
Until then the Celtics will just have to continue to power through with their limited troops. Expect increased roles from Semih Erden and Von Wafer in the absence of the regular reserves. Fan favorite Luke Harangody could potentially reinsert his name back into the lineup as well. After earning regular minutes for a 10 game stretch in late December and early January, Luke has only played in 3 of the teams last 9 games. There is one thing for certain. With Doc Rivers as your head coach, you are never assured a consistent lineup of players.
About the Author
Written by Michael Johnson
I am a recent graduate of Endicott College having earned my Bachelors Degree in Communications. I bleed green and will until I die. If you'd like to talk sports I'm available on facebook and my email address is Johnson3448@comcast.net. You can also follow me on twitter @johnsoncookie.