For much of the playoffs, the biggest contributions the Celtics have gotten from Marquis Daniels and Keyon Dooling has been their quirky but fun "flexin'" celebration - usually performed by the bench when the guys on the court do something particularly fun or impressive.
In game 3, both were available when called upon and stepped up with excellent performances.
While there were some requisite big numbers put up by the Celtics’ marquee players, the game turned when the bit players checked in. OK, let’s get specific. We’re talking about Keyon Dooling and Marquis Daniels. Neither one is asked to score. They’re all about energy and effort at the defensive end. "I thought what our second unit did was come in with a defensive energy that changed the game,’’ said Doc Rivers. "And they scored off the defense. They got stops and they ran the floor.’’ Dooling and Daniels sparked a game-changing run of 15 straight points as the Heat were scoreless for 7:10 and held without a field goal for 8:40. This enabled the Celtics to go from being down, 28-22, to in front, 37-28. The Heat never got closer than 7 (37-30, 39-32, 41-34) again.
The efforts were appreciated by the stars as well.
"Guys on the bench, they are registered professionals," Paul Pierce said. "Marquis hasn’t really played a lot for us in this series, but when his name was called upon he was ready. That’s what being a professional is all about. Everyday he comes in, gets his work in. Doc (Rivers) called upon him tonight, he did a tremendous job guarding LeBron (James). He even contributed on the offensive end and that was huge for us. The bench was tremendous tonight. We needed everything."
The playoffs often come down to big performances by bench players (more often than not they excel at home). Here's hoping for more of the same from those two, as well as the Stiemsma/Hollins 2 headed center combo.