By Marcus Thompson
Sunday, November 16th, 2008 at 9:59 pm in Uncategorized.
The most amazing part about Anthony Morrow’s performance Saturday was that it wasn’t that amazing. Sounds like a contradiction, right? But check out these numbers stats:
*Of his 15 made baskets, only four was from the 3-point line
*He only had three points from the free throw line, one on a three-point play
*He took no more than five real shots in each quarter (I say real because one came when the game was over and the other was a tip on an offensive rebound)
Normally when a guy goes off for 37, it’s because he got hot from the deep and knocked down a bunch of 3-pointers. But Morrow was just 4 of 5. Not bad, of course, but hardly astounding.
If it’s not 3-pointers, then usually players get 37 by getting to the free throw line a lot. You’ll see them make like 10 shots and 13 free throws or something like that. Morrow got to the line just three times.
Also, often big games happen because a player is just getting up a ridiculous amount of shots (a la Kobe, who had 30 points on 29 shots against Detroit on Friday). Either they are feeling it and keep getting fed, or they just dominate the ball so much they are going to get a ton of shots. Well, Morrow didn’t get a lot of shots. The fourth quarter was the only quarter he took the most shots.
This performance was basic basketball. Sure, it was a perfect storm of the Clippers poor defense, his feeling it and Nellie giving him the opportunity. And defenses will certainly be paying attention to him at some point. But him getting 10-15 points on a regular basis is not that far-fetched.
Morrow can manufacture points because he is an outstanding shooter, he understands how to get his shot off and he is not one dimensional. If Nellie can factor him into the offense (they had a couple double screens he came off of) and not have a quick hook, and if his teammates look for him when he’s in the game, he can get you a nice bunch of points off the bench. Two 3-pointers, a couple mid-range jumpers, a few free throws and a lay-up, you got 15 points.
There will be nights when he’s off, but it is a much more efficient way of scoring than Stephen Jackson and Corey Maggette and Kelenna Azubuike taking on double-teams and taking difficult shots. Plus, they’ll be fresher down the stretch if they aren’t always expending energy trying to create offense. A shooter does that for you.
This sucks for Marco Belinelli, though. His just became expendable. Morrow is a purer shooter, he’s bigger, he’s more athletic, he’s tougher, he’s more aggressive, he’s fundamentally more sound, and he’s cheaper. I would not be surprised if Chris Mullin/Larry Riley has already linked Marco with Al Harrington and Marcus Williams in trade offers.
It may seem to suck for Azubuike, but it shouldn’t. Kelenna is much better at 25-30 minutes than he is at 35-40 minutes. Plus having another guy for defenses to key on will only open up more for him, or at the very least keep defenses from paying close enough attention to realize he’s not going to pass.
If Azubuike is going to start, Morrow should be his back up. If a point guard starts, such as C.J. Watson, or Monta Ellis when he returns, then Azubuike should be sharing the back-up minutes at the two and three with Morrow. Kelenna should get the lion’s share, but Morrow should get some.