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View Full Version : Coachin' em' up: Studying Marquis Daniels



thunderbird1245
08-21-2007, 10:52 AM
Marquis Daniels and his game are going under the microscope in the third edition in my coachin' em' up series of articles. While many of us were excited by his acquisition last year, Im not sure any of us really have a handle on him yet, in terms of how he will fit in, especially since we have a new staff in place now. This thread will attempt to study his strengths and weaknesses, and see how successful he might be in year 2 of his time with Indiana.

Daniels was a mystery I think to Rick Carlisle as well in terms of how to properly use him. A multi dimensional and creative offensive player, he probably played better in the open court and with the ball in his hands, and wasnt entirely suited for Carlisle's more structured halfcourt game. By the time Carlisle began to adapt better to utilize him, he was injured and never to return. Not coincidentally I think, it's about that time the Pacers began to freefall in the standings. With his health in question, and an entirely new staff in place to coach him, there remain huge question marks on how Daniels will play and be utilized this season. Here are a few of them as I see it:

1. WILL JIM O'BRIEN'S EXPECTED "4 OUT" OFFENSIVE SCHEME HELP OR HURT DANIELS?

I expect it will help Marquis in many ways. The 4 out scheme ideally creates more driving opportunities and better spacing for a player to be able to drive the basketball, because there is one less post player clogging up the lane. Daniels excels off the dribble, and the angles and "geometry" of the 4 out scheme should provide many more chances for him to successfully go off the dribble and score.

On the other hand, Daniels is a poor outside shooter with a coach who highly values that skill. If teams do the expected and sag way off of Marquis to force him to rise up and shoot from the outside, he very well could struggle at times in this scheme.

2. WILL THE NEW STAFF BE ABLE TO IMPROVE HIS PERIMETER JUMP SHOT AT ALL?

While I see potential to improve Tinsley's jumper, I see little hope for Daniels in this regard. Marquis just has really poor form, and it's unlikely to me that it will get better any time soon. Daniels has a poor release and hand position, and his elbow flies everywhere when he shoots a perimeter shot. It isnt one flaw, its a huge combination of flaws. In short, Daniels is a brick-laying mason from the perimeter, and its something the staff and us will just have to live with I think.

3. WILL DANIELS START OR COME OFF THE BENCH?

I think Daniels will play off the bench, or at least should, for a variety of reason. The pairing of 2 sub par shooters in Tinsley and Daniels, both of whom are better with the ball in their hands, seems to me to be a bad combination. I think it is more likely we will see Daniels paired with Deiner, and for Marquis to handle the ball alot as a quasi point guard when they are paired together.

4. HOW MANY MINUTES WILL HE PROBABLY PLAY?

I think he will play big minutes, just not at the start of the first or third quarters. I'd guess he plays somewhere around 32-34 per night. This can be accomplished by playing him as the "true" point guard some every game, i.e. without either Tinsley or Deiner in the game with him. Can his knees hold up playing that heavy of a workload? I don't know, and I don't think the Pacers do either.

5. CAN MARQUIS BE OUR THIRD POST PLAYER?

A little talked about problem with our roster is that we only have 2 true back to the basket post players who are likely to play alot in O'Neal and Diogu. When the Pacers are faced with a situation in which neither of those 2 are playing, we will need a post player in the lane area, since I think it's unlikely Murphy plays anywhere but the perimeter in this scheme.

I think this a smart way to utilize Marquis, particularly if you do have the problematic Tinsley-Daniels pairing in the game. If you had a lineup in the game of something like Tinsley, Rush, Daniels, Murphy, and Granger, then it's likely that Daniels would be the post player in that scenario, at least in my judgment. You also could use Tinsley that way and Marquis handle the ball, which is another option I'd use if I were on the staff.

6. THE PACERS NEED AN ELITE DEFENDER TO GUARD LEBRON JAMES, DWAYNE WADE, AND PLAYERS LIKE THAT....CAN DANIELS BE THAT GUY?

Uhhhh.....No. Not even close. Marquis skills to me are almost entirely offensive. The Pacers single biggest weakness to me is a lack of a great shutdown perimeter defender, and Daniels definitley isn't it. That's likely a role the staff will attempt to pigeon hole Granger into.....and Ill have my opinions on that in a future thread.


7. CAN MARQUIS DANIELS REALLY BE HEALTHY ALL YEAR, WHEN YOU CONSIDER THE LONG SEASON, INCREASED MINUTES, AND MORE PHYSICAL PRACTICES?

I hope so, but I'll believe it when I see it. I do think last years rest probably did help him, but the grind of a long season is a concern. More of a concern to me will be the demanding practices this staff is known for and how much rest those knees will require. We know from last years debacle how important Marquis can be, so it's vital that he not miss time.

8. AT THE END OF GAMES, IS DANIELS GOOD ENOUGH TO BE OUR "GO TO GUY"?, AND IF USED THAT WAY HOW WILL O'BRIEN USE HIM TO SCORE?

It's hard to go to a post player like JO in the clutch, because it is so easy to double him and prevent him from getting the ball. With that said, can Daniels be the closer we are looking for? I think this is a great question, and before I answer it myself, I want to hear what the opinion of Pacer nation is. We definitely need someone to be this guy for us.......is Marquis who you want to put your faith in? if not him, who else?

Coach Carlisle liked complex plays to run people off screens, or he liked to engineer ways to dump the ball to JO to close games out. This staff is much more likely to spread the floor and try and isolate someone at the top or one side. Is Daniels good enough to go off the dribble from the top, or to clear a side and let him go one on one from the wing, with the game in the balance?

9. CAN MARQUIS BE OUR BEST POINT GUARD DEFENDER?

I said above I dont think he is an "elite" perimeter defender capable of guarding the opponents best player. However, when you switch him the point guard, I think his size, strength, and physicality against smaller people is a big asset. With the lead late in a game, I think Marquis plays defensively at the point guard spot for us.


So many questions.....like many of the Pacers have. How well Daniels is used, and how much imagination the new staff has, will play a big role I think in how good he is individually, and how good we are as a whole. In the end of the day, he may be the key to the entire season.

Again, this is all just my opinion of course.


Tbird

Hicks
08-21-2007, 11:32 AM
I thought Daniels was great at being given the ball, and attacking to finish with a "how the hell does that keep going in" layup, or a mid to close-range jumper (which off the dribble he can actually hit pretty well; it's stand-still shots and outside shots he sucks at). I'd actually be very cool with him being given the ball at the end of a game if he's being asked to attack/drive.

Unclebuck
08-21-2007, 11:45 AM
I really wish Daniels could start at point guard. But the problem is in order for him to be able to do that we would need a shooting guard who could also initiate the offense, who could also handle the ball, who could also makes the plays and who could also cguard the other teams point guard from time to time. And we don't have anyone close to being able to do that.

thunderbird1245
08-22-2007, 06:32 AM
I really wish Daniels could start at point guard. But the problem is in order for him to be able to do that we would need a shooting guard who could also initiate the offense, who could also handle the ball, who could also makes the plays and who could also cguard the other teams point guard from time to time. And we don't have anyone close to being able to do that.

I think Daniels will see alot of time playing the point guard spot off the bench, but as I said in the original posting, I don't think he ends up being a starter.

I will tell you that this theoretical player you describe sounds pretty good to me.....and probably every other team in the league :)

Tbird

Unclebuck
08-22-2007, 07:37 AM
I think Daniels will see alot of time playing the point guard spot off the bench, but as I said in the original posting, I don't think he ends up being a starter.

I will tell you that this theoretical player you describe sounds pretty good to me.....and probably every other team in the league :)

Tbird

I realize I just described Michael Jordan. More than anything we would need a shooting guard who has some point guard skills - just so Daniels isn't the only ball handler, creator on the floor.

Major Cold
08-22-2007, 07:54 AM
I realize I just described Michael Jordan. More than anything we would need a shooting guard who has some point guard skills - just so Daniels isn't the only ball handler, creator on the floor.

Joe Johnson anybody?

Unclebuck
08-22-2007, 08:04 AM
Joe Johnson anybody?

That is who I was thinking of.

I think a backcourt of JJ and Daniels would be extremely impressive and destructive. JO for JJ and Zaza is a trade I would do.

JayRedd
08-22-2007, 11:00 AM
That is who I was thinking of.

I think a backcourt of JJ and Daniels would be extremely impressive and destructive. JO for JJ and Zaza is a trade I would do.

Atlanta wouldn't.