Spotlight: Maurice Taylor
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.
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
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.
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.