Celtics Notebook

A better hand for Daniels

He’s shooting for a February return

By Julian Benbow
Globe Staff / December 19, 2009

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A week after undergoing surgery on his left wrist, Marquis Daniels went in yesterday for an evaluation and to have stitches removed from his hand. He learned that the best-case scenario is a return to the court just before the All-Star break.

Daniels said he is scheduled to see doctors again Jan. 8 to have the cast, as well as the pin in his wrist, removed. From that point, he would wear a smaller cast.

“It don’t hurt as bad,’’ he said. “Actually, initially, just keeping your hand up. They say if you leave it down, it swells up on you. Trying to sleep like this is not good.’’

The injury had lingered for three weeks, but Daniels tried to play through it. “It was feeling good at times,’’ he said. “Then, I’d get a bad pass.’’

He said the injury took its toll on almost every facet of his game. “Getting ready to shoot,” he said. “Gathering the ball, dribbling, getting rebounds, playing defense. Then, mentally. Coach Doc Rivers, who ultimately had to pull Daniels from practice and suggest that he get the wrist examined, said the more Daniels tried to mask his injury, the more obvious it became.

“I mean it was so obvious,’’ Rivers said. “We had just had a coaches meeting talking about [how] he’s losing the ball a lot. ‘Do you think it’s his hand?’ And then I’m watching him practice after that and it was just so obvious.

“You could see it in practice. He couldn’t even hold on to the ball. It’s funny he was hiding it trying to rebound with one hand. You could see him on film passing with the opposite hand more. So eventually, even I would have noticed.’’

“It’s funny. I don’t know if I hadn’t have blown the whistle and told him to walk off the court, he may still be playing.’’

A (50) grand night
He started the night playing Pop-A-Shot at a bar across from the TD Garden. A few hours later, after draining a shot from half-court for $50,000 and electifying the sellout crowd of 18,864, Chris Miller was taking bows.

Miller, a 30-year-old finance manager with John Hancock, has never played organized basketball (“I was a tennis player,’’ he said). And sinking 40 shots in that arcade game was all the practice he had gotten.

The only advice he received before stepping up for the shot was from his friends George and Kyle Westervelt.

“We told him we’d give him 40 bucks if he just hit the top of the backboard,’’ George said. “Because everyone always ends up short on those shots.’’

He heaved it with his foot on the logo, got all net, and put his hands up like he had hit the game winner. Rivers joked that he could have used him.

“That was the only good part about the night and I missed it,’’ Rivers said after the Celtics’ 98-97 loss to Philadelphia. “I wanted to put him in the game. I should have.’’

Miller said the shot did not feel good off his fingertips.

“I knew it was on target,’’ he said. “But the length, I had no idea.’’

He said he’d use the money for a down payment on a house.

View of Hudson
Rivers said he will recall rookie guard Lester Hudson from the Maine Red Claws, the Celtics’ NBA Development League affliate, for tomorrow’s game against Minnesota.

In two games with the Red Claws, Hudson scored 42 points.

“The original plan was to have him play a couple, miss this one, and have him come back,’’ Rivers said.

Hudson has played 49 minutes in 13 games with the big club. Rivers said giving him an opportunity to see game action was beneficial.

“I just know it has to be helpful somewhat to play,’’ Rivers said. “Playing in a real game with refs instead of just hearing us yell and blow our whistle, which we never do in practice.

“Just think, in practice he’s playing behind Eddie [House] and [Rajon] Rondo. So it’s tough to get on the floor in practice. So in that way, it has to help.’’

He said that she said
NBA commissioner David Stern recently told Sports Illustrated that he thought eventually a woman would play in the NBA. Shelden Williams, husband to Candace Parker, arguably the best women’s basketball player, said “it’s not something that could happen,’’ pointing to the differences in size, strength, and game play.

He also said that Parker didn’t argue.

“We’ve talked about it,’’ Williams said. “She feels the same way.’’

Parker starred at Tennessee before going on to play for the Los Angeles Sparks.

Williams said of Stern’s comments, “He has to say that because he wants to promote the WNBA, but it’s not something that’s realistic.’’

Julian Benbow can be reached at

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