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The Key to Playoff Success is...

Antonio Daniels?

CBS Sportsline has an article today about how Antonio Daniels has stepped in (and stepped up) at point guard since Gilbert Arenas went down for the year.

Daniels now has to step up his game against the Cavaliers, who eliminated the Wizards in six games in last year's first round. Jamison said Daniels is up to the challenge.

In eight games as a starter since replacing Arenas, Daniels is averaging 12.1 points and 9.4 assists in 38.4 minutes. And he's had four games with at least 10 assists.

"He's done a great job," Jamison said. "We need a point guard to go out there and run the offense. And defensively, he needs to step up what he does also and keep playing well."

Obviously, Daniels has a much different style of play than his predecessor being more of a distributor than a scorer, but he still shares some characteristics of All-Star he's replacing.  Take a look at this quote from the interview and tell me if it reminds you of anyone:

Daniels said his entire basketball career, going back to high school, people have told him what he can't do. Each time, he said he's overcome the negativity, and he hopes that continues now in the playoffs.

"I'm not the type to succumb to that. I love proving people wrong," Daniels said. "From the moment Gilbert and Caron went down, we were written off by everyone. Everyone. If you ask everyone else who they wanted to play in the playoffs, every one of them said Washington. But that's OK. When this thing comes together, whenever that may come, we'll be fine."

Motivation in and of itself isn't going to be enough to beat the Cavs, but it has  helped Daniels get to where he is now and hopefully he can find room on his shoulders both for that chip he has, and to carry his teammates as the playoffs begin.