Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Adam Morrison starting season on Bobcats' bench
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Adam Morrison will start his NBA career
on the bench.
Charlotte Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff said Tuesday that
veteran Brevin Knight will start at shooting guard ahead of
Morrison, the No. 3 pick in the draft, in Wednesday's season opener
Morrison started four of the Bobcats' eight preseason games,
averaging 11.6 points and 36-percent shooting. Bickerstaff said
coming off the bench will help his transition to the NBA.
"He's done well, but he's still a rookie," Bickerstaff said.
"This is a different level, but I think Adam will be just fine.
He's a good basketball player, but he has to navigate his way
through being an NBA player."
Morrison, who led the nation in scoring (28.1) last season at
Gonzaga, said he never expected to be in the starting lineup on
"The only reason I started those preseason games was Brevin was
hurt," Morrison said. "It's always been his job. I knew I
wouldn't start the whole preseason. It's not a big deal. I came off
the bench my freshman year in college. I have to earn it before
anybody says I should start."
Knight, at 5-foot-10, is a natural point guard, but he was
paired with Raymond Felton several times last season. It gave
Charlotte a small, quick backcourt with two guards capable of
bringing the ball up the floor.
"It was successful last year," Bickerstaff said. "I think we
needed both on the floor. The things that Brevin can do on the
floor in terms of his leadership, and he can also take some
pressure off of Raymond. I also think it's better if we have size
on the front line."
Emeka Okafor, who missed 56 games last season with an ankle
injury, will start at forward along with Gerald Wallace.
Center Primoz Brezec missed practice Tuesday and could sit out
the opener against his former team. Brezec has been slowed by an
illness and fatigue for much of the preseason after spending the
summer playing for the Slovenian national team.
Bickerstaff wouldn't say who would replace Brezec in the
starting lineup, but second-year player Sean May is a possibility.
The Bobcats, who cut Kevin Burleson on Monday to get to the
regular-season limit of 15 players, will start the season with only
two true point guards in Felton and Knight. Bickerstaff said
swingman Bernard Robinson could occasionally fill in at the point.
"The difficulty in terms of the cut is Burleson embodied what
we were about as a basketball team," Bickerstaff said. "Just a
classy young man. That's the difficult part of this job."
Bickerstaff feels the Bobcats have the most depth they've ever
had as they begin their third season.
"We're comfortable. We just have to get after it," Bickerstaff
said. "You never know what the first game is going to be about. I
sure hope they aren't too high, too excited."