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Jermaine O'Neal's Status for Opener Improves

Bruno's game preview includes good news regarding Jermaine O'Neal's knee and status for the opener.

O'Neal's status is somewhat uncertain. Listed as doubtful Monday with a sore knee he was upgraded to a game-time decision Tuesday. After practice he went through a series of drills designed to test his knee and said he passed them all. The pain was not related to his April arthroscopic procedure but was the result of a knee-to-knee collision with Shawne Williams in practice.

"You work out all summer and you go through training camp just wanting to get out there," he said. "You want to set the tone, especially being on your homecourt. I'm very excited about getting the opportunity and I'm hoping they (the medical staff) feel the same way I feel. I went through the tests and I'm moving fine, I'm doing well, all the swelling is out of my knee. ... As far as anybody being concerned about my knee, my knee is fine. It's 100 percent."
The whole preview will get you pumped. It sounds like the Pacers are dialed in and ready to raise their game to a regular season level. I'm shaking my head slowing thinking about how O'B was able to change the mindset of the players so convincingly. There doesn't seem to be any, we'll see how things go, hopefully this works, or we're just going to try to do what coach tells us. Instead, there is a solid commitment to the process their leader has put them through and a belief in his plan going forward. Pretty impressive leadership, no?