WALTHAM, Mass. — As recently as three years ago, Marquis Daniels was one of the NBA's most reliable and productive all-around players with the Indiana Pacers. Even last season he was an important part of the Celtics' bench before he suffered his scary back injury in a collision with Gilbert Arenas.
Daniels has been only a shell of his former self this season, though, as his playing time has plummeted to a career-low 12.4 minutes per game and his field goal percentage has fallen below 34 percent. He logged only two minutes, 47 seconds Monday against the Bobcats in the second game of a back-to-back.
Daniels was the last player off the court after Wednesday's shootaround in his continued quest to rediscover his shooting stroke. He stayed around to shoot long after his teammates had departed, and he was visibly perturbed by each miss.
"As you see, I'm staying out there trying to stay ready for whenever my number's called," Daniels said. "I've just got to be prepared for whatever it is."
Injuries to Ray Allen and Mickael Pietrus would seem to open up playing opportunities for the 6-foot-6 swingman. But Avery Bradley started at shooting guard in the last two games, erupting for a career-high 23 points Sunday against the Wizards while Daniels scored two points in 17 minutes.
Daniels declined to use his decreased playing time as an excuse for the falloff in his statistics.
"Whether it's two minutes, three minutes, whatever it is, you've just got to stay ready," Daniels said.