Over the next week plus Pelican Debrief will be rolling out season reviews of all the players that at one point or another in the 2013-2014 season could be classified as rotation players. So far we have taken a look at Luke Babbitt, Darius Miller, Jeff Withey, Jason Smith, Alexis Ajinca, Greg Stiemsma, and Austin Rivers. Today we take a look at one of the few knockdown shooters the Pelicans employed this season, Anthony Morrow.
Stats: 76 games played (a career high) (9 starts), 18.8 mpg, 8.4 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 0.8 apg, 0.3 bpg, 0.5 spg
Highlight: On March 9th against the Nuggets the Pelicans were in need of 2 points to tie the game with 6.8 seconds to play. Trapped under their own basket, they got the ball into Anthony Davis whom immediately lost it. Morrow recovered the ball, drove in on his man, took some contact, pulled up, and tied the game. He was able to go straight up and ignore the contact that was there to get a good shot.
The good: Anthony Morrow
shot 45% from 3 this season. Morrow is one of the best shooters in the NBA making his role as a spot up shooter for the Pelicans very important for a team that struggled so much at shooting.
Morrow isn’t very well-known for his defense. His individual defense is tolerable but he misses rotations at times. Monty Williams
even said in his end of the season presser that Morrow struggled to learn the rotations early on.
The Ugly: Morrow has been on 5 teams in his 7 season NBA career. Despite Morrow’s great shooting, he can’t stick with a team.
One can argue that this was easily Anthony Morrow’s most successful season as an NBA player.
Morrow’s biggest weakness throughout his NBA career has been just simply getting onto the basketball court and this season he managed to do that. Thanks to the chance to play in a career high 76 games this season, Morrow was able to show the entire NBA what he’s capable of when he’s given the chance to shoot.
Morrow show 45% from three-point range and had an effective Field Goal percentage of 54%. eFG% puts extra value in three-point shots and Morrow was well above the league average. This deadly shooting was extremely valuable for the Pelicans. New Orleans was a team that suffered a lot of spacing issues on the offensive end. If it wasn’t for guys like Morrow stretching the floor the Pelicans offense would have been much worse off.
Unfortunately, that ends the good things to say about Morrow. As great a shooter as Morrow is, he doesn’t particularly excel at anything else. His defense below mediocre which might explain why he’s had troubles getting on the court with other teams. When Morrow does get the ball he is usually going to fire up a shot rather than make a pass. Now this might have more to do with Morrow’s role as a spot up shooter but the reason he is in that role is because of his lack of ability to create. There are other spot up shooters in the NBA like J.J. Redick
or Klay Thompson
have the ability to create on their own. Redick with his passing and Thompson with his dribbling. You wouldn’t give the ball to either of these two and ask them to create often, but when it’s necessary they can do it. Morrow however can not. Morrow also lacks the speed to be an elite route runner coming off screens.
All of these criticisms aside, the Pelicans should do what they can to keep Morrow. They have nowhere near enough shooting on the team to let Morrow leave in free agency. Of course if the price gets too high, the reasons listed above are why the Pelicans shouldn’t pay too much money for him. As long as Morrow has the ability to shoot the ball the way he does then he will always have a job.