April 21, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets forward Marcus Morris (2) drives against the Golden State Warriors during the second quarter at the Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-US PRESSWIRE
Today, while thinking about the Rockets' young players, the thought crossed my mind that I was forgetting someone. I had gone through all the exciting lineups that I could dream up, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I had left someone out. Turns out, that player was Marcus Morris.
Morris, as you probably know, was the Rockets' lottery selection in 2011, a power forward out of Kansas that the Rockets aimed to move to the small forward position. Needless to say, that transition did not go well. For a player whose number one talent is one-on-one scoring, he certainly struggled to score last season. Maybe part of the problem was the lack of an off-season to help the transition, but Morris looked utterly lost on the floor last year.
When playing the three, Morris often gravitated to the perimeter and simply passed the ball off to the next man once he received it. Given that he was typically guarded by a smaller man, he needed to demand the ball in the post and make a positive move. However, even when he did commit to asking for the ball in the post, his shots tended to be weak fade-aways with little chance of going in.
Now, with a full off-season to prepare for his sophomore season, he desperately needs to improve. Following a season when he was outplayed by a rookie drafted some twenty spots after him, he was just taken to school in the summer league by a pair of rookie forwards from the latest draft, Terrence Jones and Royce White. Cutting bait on a lottery pick after two years would be a shock, but don't write it off. If Morris doesn't show any improvement in the next few months, the Rockets could opt to decline his option and use that $2 million elsewhere.
For your links, take a jump!
Basketball: Can Jeremy Lin's Appeal In China Really Help Houston's Bottom Line? | Keeping Score | TIME.com
Sean Gregory's interesting take on the real impact of Jeremy Lin on the Rockets' economic situation.
Ultimate Rockets " Faith, Hometown Help New Rocket Jeremy Lin Escape The Linsanity
If you want to get to know Jeremy Lin better, read Randy Harvey's piece in the Chronicle here.
Mike D'Antoni Is Still The Biggest Believer In Jeremy Lin And It's Not Insane To Think That They'll Be Reunited In Houston In 2013-14 - NY Daily News
D'Antoni to Houston is an unlikely scenario, but at the very least it's a unique idea.
Nets' Stackhouse: Lin Contract Will 'Hamper' Rockets - NYPOST.com
Marc Raimondi relays a Jerry Stackhouse interview that the NBPA will certainly love.
Ultimate Rockets " Yao Views Lin As Big Piece Of Rebuilding Puzzle
Yao Ming discusses Jeremy Lin's role with the Rockets going forward with Jonathan Feigen
Asik and Destroy
Chicago Bulls: Omer Asik Signs Offer Sheet - chicagotribune.com
K.C. Johnson reports on the Asik offer sheet. He believes that the Bulls will end up not matching the offer, allowing Asik to come to Houston.
Around the NBA
Recap: Brandon Roy Returns To Court In Seattle Pro-Am - Blazer's Edge
Kevin Pelton gives a report of Brandon Roy's return to the court in the Jamal Crawford Pro-Am. As badly as he's always killed the Rockets, it's great to see him playing again.
Kobe Says Pau’s In L.A. As Long As He Is | ProBasketballTalk
Matt Moore discusses Kobe Bryant's latest quote on Pau Gasol. It's cool to see Kobe stick up for a teammate, especially one who's taken a great deal more flack than he's deserved over the last few years.
Lakers, Backup Forward Jordan Hill Reach Agreement On Two-Year Deal - Yahoo! Sports
Woj has the story on Jordan Hill's getting a new contract in Los Angeles. After a bumpy stretch with the Rockets, Hill seemed to find his groove in LA, where he was simply counted on to rebound, block shots, rebound, and rebound some more.
Report: Magic Have A Soft Target Of 'Early August' To Trade Dwight Howard - CBSSports.com
Matt Moore relays Sam Amick's report that the Magic are hoping to finish a Howard trade by "early August." As this saga has taught us, any estimation of when Howard will be traded seems premature.
NBA Media Is Flip-Flopping As Much As Dwight Howard - Orlando Sentinel
Such is life in the world of the 24 hour news cycle. In a rush to supply the world with new information, Mike Bianchi notes that the NBA media has rushed to report faulty information.
As always, feel free to shoot me an email or a tweet with any links from the previous day at firstname.lastname@example.org or @PatrickHarrel. Sound off in the comments!