Bruno's Caught in the Web checks in with Marquis Daniels and his preparation for the upcoming season. Two things stick out in this article for me.
First, Quis is no longer a wild card. Last year, between sporadic play before the trade and injury issues after the trade, it was hard to know what to expect from Quis this year. Remember, after the trade and before Quis shut it down for the year, the Pacers were sitting in pretty good shape, and the post-trade play of Daniels really stood out. On February 21st, the Pacers beat Milwaukee and had a record of 29-24, which had them entrenched in playoff position. From that game, the Pacers lost eleven in a row and never recovered. Daniels played sparingly in two of those eleven losses and was nowhere near healthy. There were several reasons why the Pacers season imploded and Daniels health was certainly one of those key reasons.
By his dedication this summer, Daniels proves he's bought into the program and is leading by example. Sounds like the taste of what he can bring at the NBA level has provided the incentive to prepare himself to consistently play at that level.
If all goes according to plan, Daniels' versatility could make a big difference. So could his determination.
"When Oct. 31 gets here," he said, "I look forward to unleashing a lot of frustration."
The second thing that stuck out for me, were the quotes by Jim O'Brien.
"He's made for an up-tempo attack. Not having Marquis at the end of the season really hurt this franchise. You can't control injuries but if we can keep him healthy, he'll be -- as a result of his dedication to his body -- a major, major factor for us."
The players seem to have a similar reaction based on their comments about O'B. One of the keys to turning around the Pacers' fortunes is changing the culture around the team. O'B has already reset the culture and laid a foundation to build a strong, positive culture going forward. This is one step of many, but O'B continues to reveal himself as a great hire.