It’s hard to believe that Morris Peterson has already been in the league for six seasons. That’s six long seasons of NBA service marked by varying degrees of promise and glimpses of being better than average. As a rookie the best thing about him used to be that he could move without the ball and exploit sleepy eyed defenders by back-cutting and finding space on the floor for open (and unforced) jump shots. A promising young player which was beckoned as the second fiddle behind Carter. That was Year 1.
Since then here’s the pattern of Mo Pete’s season:
- October: High but not necessarily unreasonable expectations by fans and media
- November –December: Slow start to the season; settling for jumpers; FG% plummets. Has one good game followed by four bad ones. Fans told to be patient.
- January – February: Shows signs of life. Threes start to go in, even clutch ones at times. Some are back on the Mo Pete bandwagon after a few nice and acrobatic plays. Going 2-25 from three range on west-coast trip subdues any fervor.
- March-April: Team is out of the playoff race. Heats up and starts putting up big numbers – like 30ppg and team wins a bunch of games against opponents who can’t be bothered to participate on the defensive end.
- May: Season is usually over but a furious finish to the season has left fans and media to believe that “next year” will be the year when Peterson finally becomes consistent. The viscous circle starts again.
The good news is that he’s become a deadly shooter when he catches the ball in rhythm. However, one fears for his life when he’s asked to create on his own, something he could never do, but was expected to learn over his first few years. There were hopes once upon a time that he would blossom into a player that perhaps would make others better. No such luck.
The best to expect from Mo Pete this year is more of the same.