Two years ago Marquis Daniels was brought to Boston, the signing was immediately praised across the board. On opening night Marquis played 18 minutes of tenacious defense against Lebron James and the Celtics beat the heavily favored Cleveland Cavaliers.
About a month later Daniels was out for 2 months, he came back and played effectively, was re-injured, and Tony Allen essentially took over his minutes through the playoffs. The Celtics played through Game 7 of the NBA Finals but Quis only played 37 total minutes in the Playoffs.
Many fans felt that Daniels was done in Boston when he returned in 2010. With former teammate Jermaine O'Neal donning the Celtics #7, Marquis had to switch another former teammate's number... Antoine Walker's infamous number 8. Daniels once again started off strong. When at his best Daniels is an effective slasher with an extremely smooth game, strong ball handling, lock down defense, and the ability to slow down the game.
Then tragedy struck. At home against the Orlando Magic Daniels hit his head against Gilbert Arenas and suffered an extreme neck injury. Daniels laid on the floor motionless while his teammates rushed to his arrival. Marquis was taken off the court on a stretcher and was immediately transported to the hospital. The doctors found that Daniels had been suffering from a damaged spinal column. The injury had been effecting a lot of areas of Marquis' body and could have been the reason for him appearing to be so "injury prone" over the years.
Marquis was traded to Sacramento at the trade deadline but never actually headed west. After being cleared for basketball activities the Celtics immediately signed on to bring him back.
After the warm homecoming to start the training camp Daniels has had a rough start. For the first week the whole team was down, but Marquis especially got beat up on by Lebron and Carmelo Anthony. Everyone obviously understands that he is coming off of a serious injury and a life changing experience but it seems like Daniels doesn't have the same feel for the game that he had before. He's only shooting .311% from the field for the season and is missing a lot of lay ups that were money for him before.
Tonight against his former team, The Pacers, Daniels scored 4 points in 17 minutes of action. Not exactly mind blowing, but he is looking better on the defense end of the floor and with his play making.
Who knows if Marquis can ever be the player he was in Indiana as a starter, but if he can just get back to 80% of that The Celtics will be happy about him as a strong contributor to this team's bench. Especially now that they are finding their groove.