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News » Morrow focuses on defense

Morrow focuses on defense

Morrow focuses on defense SACRAMENTO Second-year guard Anthony Morrow is going to play this season as he is perhaps the Warriors' most efficient scoring option.

But the concern regarding Morrow is not about his offense, but how he will hold up on defense. Having already established himself as a lights-out shooter he connected on a league-best 46.7 percent from 3-point range the next step for Morrow is to avoid hurting the team defensively.

Morrow started Saturday at Arco Arena in a 101-94 exhibition loss to the Sacramento Kings, at least partly because swingman Kelenna Azubuike was out with a bone bruise in his left ankle. Morrow opened the game defending Kings guard Tyreke Evans The 6-foot-6, 220-pound point guard made Morrow look as if he were standing still on a couple of occasions.

Evans is regarded as a superior athlete even at this level, but Morrow will have to match up against some serious athletes all season, as he is expected to play as many as or more than the 22.6 minutes he averaged last season.

Corey Maggette handled the scoring with 28 points off the bench, and Stephen Jackson, returning from a two-game suspension, played all 48 minutes and scored 22 points.

Morrow scored just five points on 2-for-5 shooting while he focused on his defense. With barely decent size for his position (6-foot-5, 210 pounds), average athleticism and little experience, Morrow has his work cut out for him.

"It's tough man," Morrow said. "These are the best players in the world."

Morrow said his biggest defensive struggle is coming off screens. But he also has a hard time keeping his man in front of him, especially quicker players.

Morrow is expected to play mostly shooting guard, which pairs him up against players he said largely use screens. He might get some time at small forwards, where players are "better at going one-on-one."

Morrow said he is watching a lot of film, which has helped him handle screens better. He often can be found after practice playing one-on-one, often against quicker teammates like C.J. Watson. That, he hopes, will help his man-to-man defense.

He said he also closely watches Jackson, whom coach Don Nelson has said is the Warriors' best defender.

"I see how he's the aggressor," Morrow said of what he has learned from Jackson. "He sometimes even takes a couple of hard fouls earlier just to set the tone."

But Golden State coaches aren't expecting him to be a lock-down defender. The Warriors , partly because of the team's lack of defensive talent, emphasize team defense principles. So the short-term goal for Morrow is to know his assignments, be in the right place on the floor and to follow the game plan.

In the meantime, he is learning fundamentals, building his strength and studying the game.

"I just have to keep working at it," Morrow said. "I have gotten better and I will get better. I just need to put in the work."

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: October 18, 2009


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