BOSTON — The Celtics will welcome back two important cogs in their second unit when they take the floor Wednesday night against the Washington Wizards — Marquis Daniels and Delonte West.
Daniels was away from the team earlier this week, missing practices both Monday and Tuesday, due to an unidentified family issue. West was suspended for the first 10 games of the regular season and away from the team throughout its four-game road trip last week.
Because of the off-the-court struggles the two players have faced, they've had very little opportunity to practice together and develop chemistry on the Celtics' second unit. On Wednesday night, they'll be thrown into the fire anyway.
"It's tough," coach Doc Rivers said before Wednesday's game. "You would love for them to have practiced together, but listen. Sometimes life gets involved, and there's nothing you can do about it. We're just going to roll with it."
Daniels has been missing in action since Saturday night, when he played 17 minutes off the bench in a win over Memphis. He might be a little rusty now, but he'll play regardless.
"We had no choice," Rivers said. "We're just going to throw him out there and see what he can give us. We'll judge it once the game starts."
As for West, the Celtics' backup combo guard logged plenty of minutes for the Celtics during the preseason and has been working hard at the team's practice facility in Waltham. But Wednesday night is a whole new ballgame, as West makes his first regular-season appearance in a Celtics uniform since April 16, 2007.
"We look forward to having him back on the floor, because he's a part of what we do here," said teammate Ray Allen, who was traded for West back in '07. "He definitely makes me better, makes Paul [Pierce] better and makes this team better. For us to be able to have him out there on the floor and give both our offense and our defense some different looks, it gives us some diversity."