Yesterday, when our post on Marquis Daniels missing tonight's game hit Twitter, I got this reply:
@RedsArmy Wait? Marquis Daniels is hurt? Can't believe it. *spits water on monitor* Just a shocking development.
That comment, and the sarcasm that drenched it like KG's sweat, came from Jared Wade… the man behind Both Teams Played Hard… and the TrueHoop network's Pacers blog Eight Points Nine Seconds. He knows plenty about Marquis Daniels and his history of injuries. So we decided to pick his brain. Surprisingly, his brain yielded a lot (I kid… I kid…). Check it out… it's good stuff… and it includes a shot at Vince Carter. So that's worth the read right there.
Red's Army: You weren't surprised at all when you saw Marquis Daniels was going to
miss time. how much of a problem has this been in the past? Anything major? Anything nagging?
Jared Wade: During
his three years in Indiana, Marquis played 45, 74 and 54 games — but it
felt like less. It was frustrating because when he did play, he was a
solid, if unspectacular contributor. It's just that he was always in
and out of the lineup so much that it wasn't just the missed games, but
all of the wasted time reintegrating him into the lineup every month.
His first year here in 2006-07 was actually probably his best, as
he fit into Rick Carlisle's system well by playing high-caliber defense
and providing a good back up for Stephen Jackson since they did a lot
of the same stuff in terms of slashing and driving to the rim. He was
also a capable ballhandler when Tinsley wasn't on the floor, which
allowed Rick to run Jack and Quis out there for a backcourt and have a
pretty big lineup that was tough to score on. But every other week he
would have to take off two or three games to rest a balky knee and, by
the time he got back and got used to his role in the rotation again, it
was only like five more games before he would miss another couple of
games. Eventually, they just shut him down for the last month or two
and that actually was a pretty big blow to the team's playoff chances.
He was dynamic off the bench and gave that team a lot of what it needed.
The next year, he played 74 games — by far the most he's ever
played in an NBA season with his next best campaign being 62 back in
his Dallas days. But, ironically, it was actually his worst season as a
Pacer. Not only did he still miss a game or two every month like
clockwork (and they always seemed to come at the most inopportune
times), but mainly it was just him struggling to get good shots that he
could make in Jim O'Brien's three-point-happy system. I'm not sure how
well-acquainted you have become with Quisy's jumper, but beyond
16-feet, it he may as well be punting the ball up there. But O'Brien's
offense forced him to take a ton of threes because he doesn't want you
passing up open shots. And even though he got a ton of wide-open looks,
he could only make 1 out of 4. He would still slash and finish around
the hoop a lot, but it just wasn't enough to offset all the bad shots.
Last year was the same as the first injury-wise. The guy
essentially sat out from mid-December until the All-Star break with a
couple of half-baked comebacks here and there, then returned for real
for a while, then was shutdown for the last 15 games. That year wasn't
so much the knee as a nice little potpourri of leg and wrist issues.
But between that and too many threes badly clanging off the iron, I
don't think anyone in Indiana was particularly disappointed to see him
the course of a season? He seemed to try to play through the injury…
is that typical of him?
I would be shocked to see him
play more than 55 games, particularly since you guys have no need him
to rush back. Despite the fact that he didn't always fit perfectly into
Indy's system, they always needed him on the court given their
talent-deficient roster. And to his credit, he always did suit up
whenever he could. If you look back at the game logs, you'll see a lot
of instances where he sits out a few games, then comes back for one or
two, then misses a couple more. He always tried to play. And he played
hurt a lot.
I would think that Boston would be able to absorb him being out for
10 games just as easily as they could with him missing 14, so my guess
is that a team like that who just wants everyone healthy come April
will take the long view and rest him on those nights when he says he's
ready to go but is just getting back to practice and could still use
the tail end of the road trip or whatever to get back to 100%. I feel
like the Pacers would just run him out there to fill the rotation
vacancy at 85% fairly regularly.
back pretty quick usually. He's a tough dude. Sure, he misses a lot of
games, but, to me, it seems to be more poor genetics than anything to
do with him milking it. For a guy as hurt as he always was, you never
really saw him visibly be in pain. No Vince Carter lying on the court
stuff. No slowing down the game limping off the court. He would just
fall weird, grimace slightly, head over to the bench silently and then
miss the next three games. I mean, he has a tattoo of a Dennis the
Menace-looking dude committing suicide with a shotgun next to the words
"Only the Strong Survive." So, yeah, he's a soldier.
defense is spotty. He can be a rather good on-ball perimeter defender
and denies the ball well when he's really on his game. He's got a wiry
frame and a weird ability to twist and turn in traffic, too, so he's
good at fighting through screens down low and getting over a
pick-and-roll without losing much ground. But sometimes he just
wouldn't do that.
Not being around the team, it's hard to know how much of that was a
sore knee and how much of that was just him being a little spacey —
something he certainly is — but my guess is that his poorer defensive
efforts had to do with the knee or groin issues that he seemingly
Offense is similar. He is active on the wing and bounces around out
there on the perimeter normally, but he would go through games where he
had trouble getting by guys he should be able to break down off the
bounce. Then a week later, he would be blowing by guys and leading the
team to victory by going 8/12 and scoring 18 points in the paint. I
have to think those slow first-step nights had to do with nagging leg
He's perhaps the most enigmatic impact player the Pacers have had
during my tenure as a fan. Never knew if he was playing that night and,
even when he was on the court, never knew if he was would play 35
minutes or 12. And there was no telling whether I would love those
minutes or not even realize he was in the game.
You can check out Jared Wade's general NBA thoughts on BothTeamsPlayedHard.net and his take on the Pacers at EightPointsNineSeconds.com. He's also 1/8 of The Eighth Seed podcast. At the very least, you should follow him on Twitter… unless you don't like laughing. Then forget it.