Don't bet Blazers' future on Morrison
- Dwight Jaynes
- Portland Tribune - Sports
I realize Adam Morrison is the apple of just about everyone's eye in Portland. I don't mind being a naysayer, quite obviously, and it's time someone threw a wet blanket on this raging fire of support.
• While I think it's admirable that Morrison is willing to show up and work out against anybody else in the draft, I think it's dangerous to draw a lot of conclusions from those workouts.
Problem is, he's still not working out against proven NBA players. If he plays well against Rudy Gay or Rodney Carney, that may mean he's a better player than those guys. But face it, it's not like you're watching him play against Shawn Marion or any other small forward in the NBA. He may be working out against players who will never be starters in the league. Just don't get too carried away with the results.
• At the NBA pre-draft camp, they weigh and measure all draft candidates. Morrison's height without shoes was 6-6 1/2, which is very short for a small forward. Now I realize they don't play games barefoot, but Morrison is not very athletic to begin with, and to find out he's undersized, too, is a bit alarming.
And don't talk about him trying to play shooting guard. He couldn't possibly hope to guard those guys.
• Yes, I know he's very smart and supercompetitive. So are you. But you can't play in the NBA. It's great to be competitive - but you better have the talent, too. That comes first. Is he as physically gifted as Michael Dunleavy, a guy who hasn't exactly been an all-star? We know he's not in the class of Carmelo Anthony and Tracy McGrady.
• There are people who say you shouldn't criticize the man for crying at the end of Gonzaga's NCAA tournament run. Hey, I've seen plenty of athletes cry after losing games and find it refreshing that they cared enough about the outcome to cry.
But Morrison was different. He was a blubbering mess on the court while his team still had a chance to win the game. In fact, the Bulldogs got off a last shot that should have been taken by Morrison, had he not been emotionally wasted.
• Morrison told the media Thursday in Portland that perhaps if he hadn't been scoring 30 points a game last season, he would have played better defense.
OK, I will accept that. And I'll assume that this season if you don't score 30 points a game, you will then be a pretty good defensive player.
• By the way, I'm not so worried about his defense. If he can score, he'll be a serviceable player. What worries me is that his lack of foot speed, leaping ability and quickness will make it difficult for him to get off a shot against NBA players with length and quickness.
• I'd also worry about his apparent inability to rebound.
• Perhaps the craziest notion of all about Morrison is that he'll be a ticket seller. I don't know where that comes from, but the fact is, very few NBA players put fannies in seats. LeBron, Kobe, D-Wade, Shaq - very few others. Morrison or not, the Blazers are going to have to start winning some games before the fans flock back into the Rose Garden.
I might add that what would really be disastrous is if they draft him, he sells thousands of season tickets and then proves not talented enough to play consistent minutes. That would even further alienate fans.
And it would be a coach's nightmare.