Tuesday, June 27, 2006

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.



At 12:22 AM, Blogger Kiefer said...

I know you are gonna hate to hear this, but Bruce will love it. The characteristics you described that made Morrison worthy of a #4 pick are the same characteristics that JJ Reddick posseses. No I don't believe that Reddick is worth a #4 pick, and Morrison is among the top that hope the Blazers consider drafting.

Making the reference to Dunleavy only means that Morrison will not live up to his Larry Bird comparison is very unrealistic.

I'm not sure if he is the perfect fit for the team. Without Z-Bo our team plays much better basketball. They are athletic and fast break oriented. I'm not saying Morrison cannot succeed in a fast break offense (I think Morrison could do very well in a fast paced offense by spacing the floor because of his 3 point shooting and his ability to score in almost any situation), but his game is more suited for the halfcourt system. That being said, if we decide to keep Zach, the ball will be in his hands most of the time, therefore making Morrison less effective. My biggest concern with Morrison is his defense, but that can be taught by Nate.

As for Rudy Gay, I think he is a good fit for this team. My dream is that we some how could aquire both Morrison and Gay. I would love a lineup like Telfair/Jack, Webster, Morrison, Gay, and Przybilla. I honestly think Gay will be able to play the power foward position because of his athleticism and height. He may very well end up as a Shawn Marion typ player.

I like Gay a little more than Morrison because of his defense and his athleticism. Even though Morrison has already proven more than Gay, I feel Gay will have no problems in the NBA because of his athleticism and his ability to hit the jumper.

Overall, I will not be disappointed with a Morrison pick, but I do not think he will the player that many of the "Draft the 'Stache" think he will be. As long as fans realize that they are drafting a role player, a leader, but a role player nonetheless.

At 7:32 AM, Blogger Sean said...

go back and read it again kiefer...i said morrison was going to be a role player all along...but a role player that plays roles that we desperately need to have filled.

At 9:21 AM, Blogger Ryne said...

yea sean agree with kiefer. The characteristic you want in a player are more like J.J Redick than Adam Morrison. With the fourth pick, you don't pick someone who will be a role player. You pick someone who will be able to start for years to come and Adam is that player.


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