Sunday, February 12, 2006
The Adam Morrison experience
I finally watched a Gonzaga game this year. I went into the game cynical about Morrison. It didn't help that in the introduction ESPN compared him to Larry Bird and Pistol Pete. Are you allowed to compare white basketball players to black players? Are you allowed to compare black players to Larry Bird?
By the time the game ended, however, I was a full fledged member of the Adam Morrison Fan Club. I've already ordered my fake mustache. I see where the Bird comparisons come from. The easy comparisons to make is how he looks unathletic and goofy, and how he plays with a swagger.
Two other similarities to Bird make me like his game:
1. He moves aggressively without the ball, which is something you rarely see from modern players.
2. He'll still shoot with a defender right in his face. Big men are trained to kick the ball out if they don't have an open look, but that doesn't make sense if the big man can shoot. I'd rather have Morrison shoot a ten footer with a guy in his face than a guard driving to the basket praying for a whistle.
Before I get too carried away with Morrison, he doesn't rebound like Bird and he doesn't pass like Bird. As for Gonzaga, along with Morrison, J.P. Batista's a skilled big man and point guard Derek Raivio hits 95% of his free throws (something that always comes in handy in March). That said, they struggled to beat an unranked Stanford team, so John Stockton and Dan Dickau shouldn't buy their champaign yet.