It's not just the writers who think Darko will take a big step this year. More importantly, his coach and teammates are also building him up right now:
"I can only judge on what I have seen, but he has been aggressive the whole time," coach Flip Saunders said. "He goes after guys. He blocks shots. He's been one of our better guys playing pick-and-roll defense, jumping out and helping. He dives on the floor.
"I mean, he doesn't show any tendencies of a guy you would call soft. He battles."
Rasheed Wallace agrees:
"With Darko, it's just about him knowing these guys and getting acclimated to playing in the league.
"I am telling you, when he gets a chance to play major minutes, he's going to be a hell of a player."
Somewhere along the line fans in Detroit (and the rest of the league) made the unconscious transition from being eager to see Darko play to simply writing him off as a bust -- despite the fact that he's still only 20 years old and has played very few significant minutes.
Bench players looking good [Detroit News]