Sunday, August 01, 2010

Review and preview: Adam Morrison

Strengths: Scoring, at the college level.

Weaknesses: Basketball, at the NBA level.

Last year: In 7.8 mostly garbage minutes over 31 games, he put up 2.4 points and rebound on awful shooting (.418 TS%) shooting, which combine into a 7.4 PER that was actually better than the year before. Played 13 minutes in 2 playoff games, and was actually pretty effective (8 points, 5 rebounds).

Next year: Is an unrestricted free agent who will look to keep his NBA career alive, with the D League or Europe also being possibilities. He will not be back with LA.

Morrison was apparently the funniest guy on the team, worked his ass off in practice, did not complain, was in all aspects a good soldier. He’s just not any good.

An unstoppable college scorer, he is one of those guys who are just not athletic enough for his game to hold up on the next level. His ability to come off screens, jab step, drive, the multitude of ways that scorers free themselves, they all disappeared when the defenders got a step quicker and jumped a few inches higher. Since he was always more scorer than shooter, that left him with nothing to fall back on offensively.

Defensively, he had never been asked to play any his whole life, but once asked the lack of athleticism and knowledge of technique doomed him from the start. Similarly, despite his height he was not going to get many rebounds that didn’t come right to him.

In an ideal world, scouts would have recognized him limitations and he would have been a late first round draft pick. Instead, his accomplishments at the college fooled Michael Jordan into taking him with the third pick, and after a disappointing rookie season he blew out his knee, ending any realistic chance that he could develop into a bench scorer of some usefulness.

Now, at the end of his rookie contract, his career may be over. At best, he will hang around in that end of the roster/D League zone for a while, or perhaps end up in Europe, where he still might be able to carve out a decent career.

Since he seems like a good guy and was popular with the team, I wish him the best, but I’m glad I don’t have to see him in a Laker uniform again.

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