Daniels was taken off the court on a stretcher after his head collided with the shoulder of Gilbert Arenas on a drive toward the basket. Daniels fell face-first to the floor lifelessly and remained motionless but seemed alert while having exchanges with the Celtics medical staff.
“Marquis is doing well,” Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said at a joint news conference with team physician Brian McKeon. “I was just with him at New England Baptist Hopsital. He's moving; he's fine. His arms and his legs, everything is fine.”
Ainge went on to say that the timetable on Daniels is a month, if not more. He has fully regained motor functions but will go through a series of tests and scans, in order to determine severity.
This isn't Daniels' first run-in with spinal problems, as he suffered another scare during Game 5 of last year's Eastern Conference finals against who? The Magic.
“He just wanted to know the score of the game,” Ainge said. “He had talked with his wife and his mother. He was fine.”
There is a point at which an incident goes beyond sport. As Celtics players and fans seemed to collectively huddle around Daniels, you knew it was one of those moments.
There was no collective sigh of relief, just the hopeful cheer leading into Daniels being carted out of the Garden.
Fortunately, it looks like Daniels is out of the woods and now we can move on to, in comparison, trivial issues.
How will the Celtics maintain their standing in the east without Daniels? Hopefully, West will have something to do with it.
On Sunday evening, CSNNE.com reported that Delonte West has announced his plan to return to the Celtics after the All-Star Break. Could there have been a better piece of follow-up news?
When West broke his wrist in a late November game against the Nets, Doc Rivers said he was hopeful that the recently re-acquired shooting guard would be able to make it back for the playoffs. West has been insistent that this was an overestimation.
Like teammate Kendrick Perkins, West has recovered rapidly.
West is precisely the well-rounded player that the Celtics need while Daniels is out. Daniels' defensive prowess will certainly be missed, but West fills in an off-the-bench shooting gap that has been plaguing the Celtics since his injury.
West is pesky and a better conductor of the offense than Nate Robinson. The two players will become a dynamic duo off the bench and both will have a heavier weight on their shoulders with Daniels out.
The Celtics will, once again, have to ride out a significant number of games without a piece of the puzzle. But this is nothing new. They will overcome, as they have overcome before.
Hopefully, Daniels will rehabilitate effectively and will be ready to contribute come playoff time.
Regardless, the Celtics will not make excuses. There is more than enough talent on this year's team to survive another bump in the road.