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Former Warriors Ready for Fresh Start with Pacers

Pacers.com has a fresh, new look with some sleek story navigation. The main story today takes a look at the former Golden State Warriors who are treating the start of a new season as a fresh beginning with the Indiana Pacers.

Troy Murphy, Mike Dunleavy, and Ike Diogu are all looking to a new season, with a new coach, as an opportunity to prove they can provide consistent production to a winning team. Any words at this point are useless, since these three can only state their case with actions on the floor. But, it isn't hard to see them making meaningful contributions and dproving that the trade wasn't as lopsided as outsiders claim.

Naturally, O'B is positive all three can make big contributions. To me, the most intriguing of the three stories is Troy Murphy. He was dinged up toward the end of the year, but he seemed to be going through the motions at times, not exactly playing with any fire.

Now we hear that Larry Joe Legend called him out in the offseason, inspiring Murph to add some muscle and play with a nasty streak.

In his postseason meeting with Murphy, Bird sent a clear message.

"I watched almost all his games in college (Notre Dame)," Bird said. "He's got to get back to being the mean guy I used to know and playing with a chip on his shoulder. He's very capable of having a double-double every night and I think that's his goal this year. I think he'll have an outstanding year.

"When he left here last summer he said he was going to dedicate himself to getting stronger and getting back to playing the way he used to."

To suggest Murphy welcomed this particular assignment would be an understatement. He hit the weight-room hard and reported weighing a rock-solid 250 pounds, up more than 10 from last year. More importantly, he adjusted his mindset.

Asked about Bird's request that he return to his tough-guy roots, Murphy smiled.

"I think we'll be alright in that regard," he said. "I don't know how mean and nasty I was (in college). I guess I was pretty mean and nasty. I used to eat glass, you know?

"I know what I'm capable of. I'm going to do all that and I'm going to be nasty and I'm going to do all that stuff. I'm looking forward to it. I really like doing that stuff because I have like a screw loose. There are not many jobs you can have where your boss wants you to be mean and nasty, so I'm excited."
Again, we won't get too excited until we see it on the floor. I'm just happy to see LJL getting after some of these guys. If Murph can post a double-double every night, the Pacers will be a big step closer toward exceeding expectations.