In the midst of an eventful Sunday afternoon at the TD Garden, there was a laundry list of notable news tidbits amongst the scary situation involving Marquis Daniels. Let’s start from the top though and the revelation that Doc Rivers revealed pregame about former starting center Shaquille O’Neal.
Shaq has been battling an inflamed Achilles’, the most recent in his plethora of injuries he’s had to fight through admirably while laboring on a 38-year-old frame. With Kendrick Perkins back however, and progressing faster than we could have ever have expected since returning from ACL surgery, it appears that now will be the time Doc gives Shaq an extended rest. This is to Shaq’s benefit as Doc tries to keep him healthy for the final extended stretch of the year:
“I don’t think he’s going to be back any time — he’s not going to be out a long time, but I don’t think he’ll be back Monday, maybe not even until we go on break, but we’ll see,” Rivers said.
“If this was a playoff game, Shaq would play, let’s just be honest,” Rivers continued. “But it’s not, and we’re going to need him in the playoffs and we want him to be right and healthy. This gives him a chance to get all the other things that were ailing him right, too. Look, he’s 38 years old, I’m sure you guys who have been to that age understand, you wake up and your body aches, it’s just tough. He’ll get right, we know that, we just want him to be right, and have the strength to play a number of games in a row where he can help, instead of just four or five games and then out.”
Easily the right call in this situation, but seein how hard Doc rides Perk in his absence is definitely something to keep an eye on. He’s been up to the 32-33 minute mark in recent games, with Rivers afraid to go with Semih Erden during the second half of games against elite opponents (probably rightfully so). Nonetheless, it will be nice to see Shaq right, since he was clearly just gutting it out more than anything else on that west coast trip.
Moving on to Daniels, Danny Ainge and team doctor Brian McKeon spoke to the media at length about Daniels’ condition after the game yesterday. Chris Forsberg over at ESPNBoston gets us caught up with a few of more notable tidbits from the press conference:
Ainge indicated that Daniels will be sidelined at least one month, possibly longer. While he has regained motor functions, Daniels will undergo a battery of tests, including CT scans, MRIs and serial examinations, in order to determine the severity of the injury.
Both Ainge and McKeon noted that Daniels has experienced spine issues in the past and he endured a similar scare last year in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals in Orlando. He was diagnosed with a concussion after that game, but did not suffer one Sunday, McKeon said.
Ainge visited Daniels at the hospital during Sunday’s game.
“He just wanted to know the score of the game,” Ainge said. “He had talked with his wife and his mother. He was fine.”
Asked how the team moves forward, McKeon said the key is simply observation and time, especially given his past history.
“I think he was scared when he was on the court, because he couldn’t really move there for a short period of time, so that scared him,” Ainge said. “But he’s had some issues with this before and some tingling in his body — his arms and things before.”
With 11:01 to play in the second quarter, Daniels posted up on Magic guard Gilbert Arenas, but appeared to snag his neck as he attempted to drive toward the basket. Daniels collided with Arenas’ chest and seemed to briefly lose consciousness. Daniels collapsed forward, landing face-first on the floor.
After a long stoppage in play, Daniels gave a thumbs up to the crowd as he was being taken from the court on the stretcher.
We’ll have a full analysis of the Daniels’ situation and its affect on the C’s rotation to come, but for now it’s just important to keep him in your prayers for what is undoubtedly a very serious situation. The revelation about this being a recurring condition also should give us pause (myself included) when questioning a player’s durability in certain situations, when we don’t have all the facts. For now, my gut says given the seriousness of the situation, I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t see Marquis again this year, since obviously this is something you can’t and shouldn’t fool around with. The 1-2 month timetable being thrown out right now, was given in a best case scenario for Daniels, something we obviously will hope for, but shouldn’t count on. We’ll obviously know a lot more today, as Daniels continues to undergo a series of tests, and we will keep you posted here on his condition.
Finally, in what may or may not be directly related news to the Daniels’ injury, the C’s have called up Avery Bradley from the Red Claws. They may have been planning on it anyway, but with Daniels’ down and O’Neal out an unspecified length of time, the C’s obviously need all the healthy bodies they can find right now, as they try to keep things patched together.
More on Daniels later today, as well as Rich Keefe’s look Around The NBA