Morrison and Mike Dunleavy
Today I heard someone compare Adam Morrison to Mike Dunleavy Jr. This comparison isn't too far off, but shouldn't be taken as negatively as many of you might think. First, the straight numbers for Mike:
'04: PTS-11.7 RBS-5.9 AST-2.9 FG%-44.9 3PT%-37.0 FT%-74.1
'05: PTS-13.4 RBS-5.5 AST-2.6 FG%-45.1 3PT%-38.8 FT%-77.9
'06: PTS-11.5 RBS-4.9 AST-2.9 FG%-40.6 3PT%-28.5 FT%-77.8
Basically, Mike was on track for a great career. As the numbers show, he made a high percentage of the shots he made while becoming a great locker room presence who was a smart, encouraging teammate who really knew the game of basketball. He showed improvement in all areas from his first year to the second, but, after signing a contract extension, fell into an unexplicable funk. Outside of this year, Mike is exactly the type of person you would want Morrison to turn into. Mike just had one off year, and has plenty of years left to rebound. Outside of his shooting, all his other numbers stayed solid for an NBA small forward, especially one with no hops.
Morrison is not expected to be the cornerstone of a franchise, or the Blazer's main offensive weapon (that would be either Martell Webster or Z-Bo). Instead, he is expected to be a starter who takes and makes good, open perimeter shots and can be a reliable scorer when needed. If he succeeds in doing this, he will open up shots for our other players, thus improving the team as a whole.
Morrison, like Dunleavy,is also a motivating leader. He has an intense competitive spirit, but spreads that spirit amongst his teamtes by encouraging them, picking them up and making them believe in themselves and work hard as opposed to knocking them down or becoming cold, isolated or non-communicative (which is a sure-fire way to kill chemistry).
Some will argue that he is not worthy of being our pick because of the projected role he will play on our team, or because there are other players out there with more raw talent and potential. The reality is that Morrison has proven himself on a ntional stage, while others like Rudy Gay have not, and that he is a perfect fit for the Trail Blazers, which is a claim that some of the other potential draftees cannot make.
BOTTOM LINE: DRAFT THE STACHE!