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Time to sign a backup point guard?

12/9/2009

With the Celtics set to be without the services of Marquis Daniels for what looks like at least the better part of the next two months, the obvious question is: How do they fill his minutes?

Daniels was averaging 20.4 minutes per game off the bench and, while his statistics -- 5.7 points, 2.1 assists, 2 rebounds per game -- shouldn't be too hard to replace, his versatility might be.

Going into the season, the Celtics liked that they could use Daniels at point guard, shooting guard, or swingman -- providing a Swiss Army knife backup for Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce. But Daniels, who spent quality time as the point guard with the second unit early in the season, has been unable to fill that role since he suffered the thumb injury. That's led to extra minutes for Paul Pierce, who typically stays in to handle the ball with the second unit (and a trickle-down effect has boosted Ray Allen's minutes, particularly when Pierce is in early foul trouble).

With Tony Allen returning to the floor for the first time during the 2009-10 season on Tuesday night, the Celtics get an immediate boost. In fact, Celtics coach Doc Rivers suggested both Tony Allen and forward Brian Scalabrine would be utilized more in the absence of Daniels.

But that still leaves a hole for a ball-handler. And considering that J.R. Giddens and Lester Hudson are more suited for the 2-guard spot, and it was unlikely Boston felt comfortable spiking their minutes now anyhow, it seems the Celtics need a backup point guard now more than ever.

Maybe it's time to ask Tyronn Lue if he's certain he's played his last basketball. The 32-year-old Lue, brought in to be the Celtics Director of Basketball Development in late October, has shown he's still got plenty of talent left in him when he works out with the team in practice or before games.

Heck, Lue is only five months older than Paul Pierce. He averaged 8.5 points and 3.1 assists over an 11-year career.

About the only problem we see is that Lue's familiar No. 10 is retired in Boston. Maybe he could sweet-talk Jo Jo White into pulling it down from the rafters for the final 60 games of the 2009-10 season.