Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Redick-Morrison Finals

Remember three years ago? The year was 2006 and we had one of those magical cross-country rivalries between two great players.

Duke had J.J. Redick. Gonzaga had Adam Morrison. They would split up all those Player of the Year awards as everyone compared the two players from afar. Redick was better. No, Adam was. Redick had better teammates! But Adam played in a much weaker conference!

So it makes sense that the two are seeing their teams in the 2009 NBA Finals. Adam's Lakers currently hold a 2-0 lead over J.J.'s Magic. Not that those guys had anything to do with that.

See, these former college greats just haven't found their way in the NBA. Morrison has played in just eight games for the Lakers since a mid-season trade (meanwhile the guy who came over from Charlotte with Morrison, Shannon Brown, has been a important part of the Lakers' rotation during the postseason). Morrison scored a grand total of 10 points in those games and hasn't sniffed the court during the Lakers' playoff run.

Morrison did average 11.8 ppg in his rookie season. But he missed all of 2007-2008 with an injury and has been slow to return to form this year.

Redick has actually been playing for Orlando this postseason. He actually started in all seven games against the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals. He followed that up by playing in just one game against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the conference finals. He has played in both Finals games thus far, scoring 8 points and was on the court during crunch time last night.

Redick hasn't made much of a splash, though. The former ACC scoring champ is averaging just 6 ppg this season and 5.5 ppg for his career.

Not that anyone really expected either of these two to be NBA stars (well, some did. I mean, Michael Jordan did waste the No. 3 pick in the draft on Morrison). In a draft where Brandon Roy has become the only All-Star, Redick and Morrison can say that they are still playing on the NBA's biggest stage (by the way, Shannon Brown was also drafted in 2006).

Despite all the hate, jabs and jokes ... one of them will have an NBA Championship ring.

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