In case you missed it, Kevin Garnett is returning to the lineup tomorrow. The team was 22-7 with him in the lineup and is just 5-6 without him. So yeah, I think he'll have an impact. On the other hand, I think most would agree that one man, no matter how important to the team, is not going to solve all the problems this team has had over the last couple weeks. So naturally with the trade deadline approaching people (like me) have started wondering out loud about what we could get on the market to upgrade the bench and improve our roster.
Well, I have it on good authority that the Celtics will be adding a guy in February that can help us at multiple positions and solidify the bench. Nope, this isn't a trade rumor, just a reminder that Marquis Daniels should be returning from his injury next month.
Marquis has become somewhat of a forgotten man around here lately. Injuries to the starters stole the headlines and Daniels has been out of sight, out of mind. In his absence, the team has had some holes exposed. The same holes that we were worried about in the offseason (backup point and wing).
Early in Daniels' absence Tony Allen stepped up and filled the role admirably, but he's been up and down since then. Scalabrine has had an occasional solid game but mostly has been disappointing this season. Eddie House can play point guard, but as Doc has mentioned several times, he's a much better player when he's playing off the ball.
Daniels is a great fit for this team because he does a little of everything. He can help with ball handling, he can guard wings, he can attack the paint, and he can provide valuable minutes off the bench. Getting him back on the floor will be a big boost, assuming he returns on schedule and remains healthy.
And there's the rub. The only fear here is the chance that Marquis or someone else could get (or remain) hurt. When fully healthy, this team is a force to be reckoned with, but we've never seen the top 8 or 9 players on this team healthy at the same time all year. (Think about it, Baby hurt the first several weeks, then Daniels and KG went out, etc.)
So we're not even sure exactly what we've got or what we'll have in the Spring. But the trade deadline is fast approaching and if Danny is going to make a move, he'll be guessing with the rest of us about what the team will need most. So Ainge will more likely just look for talent in general and try to add a player or two that would be upgrades over what we send out (Tony/Scal/Baby?).
I'm just looking forward to seeing Marquis Daniels back on the court. I think he'll make Eddie a better player, take some pressure off Rondo, give Ray and Paul some added rest, and basically improve the play of the bench. Again, he's not going to solve all our issues, but he'll help quite a bit. Maybe between KG and Daniels we'll solve enough problems to get back to talking about how great this team is again.
Update: Daniels tweeted today that he had his cast removed.