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Swish Spotlight: Maurice Taylor
By Jon Lamek - Bryon Russell's Realm

In 1997, When University of Michigan forward Maurice Taylor made himself eligible for the NBA Draft, many people wondered why the 6'9 underachiever would take such a chance. In his first two NBA seasons, he has proved his critics wrong. 

     He quickly made his presence known in the NBA, as he was selected by the media to the 1997-98 Schick All-Rookie Team. Earlier in his rookie season, he played in the Schick Rookie Game during All-Star weekend, where he totaled 12 points and six rebounds. At season's end, Mo ranked 6th among rookies in field-goal percentage (.476), 7th in scoring (11.5 ppg) and 9th in rebounds (4.2 rpg).

     In this strike-shortened season, Taylor played his way into the starting lineup, starting in 45 of his 46 games. His numbers went up in every statistical category, and scored a career high 29 points vs the Houston Rockets on April 23. He also was one of the few players this season to grab twenty rebounds in a game (vs Grizzlies, Feb 16). He is the Clippers best post player, backing down defenders with uncanny power. But the opposing players who have the difficult task of defending Mo fail to notice he has a smooth jump shot. 

     Mo has quickly become a fan favorite in Los Angeles. Unlike some players who moan and complain about personal performances and losing and want to be traded (ie Penny Hardaway), he has publicly stated that he wants to stay with the Clippers and help draw free-agent talent to make them a contendor. 

     Whether he's taking his man to the hole for the short jump-hook or swishing the 20-footer, Maurice Taylor is a force to be reckoned with in the NBA.

Swish Spotlight
Maurice Taylor

Height: 6'9
Weight: 260
Jersey#: 23
Position: PF