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(Chron) Mo cleared to practice

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Phi83, Oct 13, 2002.

  1. Phi83

    Phi83 Contributing Member

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    Oct. 12, 2002, 9:14PM

    Mo picks up momentum
    Rockets' Taylor pushes self in first all-out practice since injury
    By JONATHAN FEIGEN
    Copyright 2002 Houston Chronicle
    The Rockets finally got to see Maurice Taylor's smooth jump shot again Saturday. They saw him run the court as if he had never been hurt. They saw his deft ballhandling in full-court drills.

    More than anything, however, they were glad to have finally found a way to shut him up.

    They let him play.

    "I know that he wanted to be out there," Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "He mentioned violence, firearms. I told him he was directing it at the wrong guys. He was directing it at the coaches. We don't make those decisions. I had to make that clear. (Trainers) Keith (Jones) and Missy (Leget) ducked out after I said that."

    But for the first time since training camp's first day, Taylor was cleared to do anything and everything in a Rockets practice.

    "He kept asking every day, so I kept saying no every day," Jones said. "He said, `I can do that.' I told him, `No you can't. You'd go out there for a day and come back here for two. It's not worth it. Stay out for a few days until it gets well, and then we don't have to have this conversation anymore.' It's been so long since he's played, he wanted to be out there all the time.

    "I like Mo, but I'm tired of having him in the training room. I'll see him when he comes in for a bag of ice or to get his ankles taped. I don't need to see him for four hours every day."

    The feeling was mutual. Taylor missed all of last season with a ruptured Achilles' tendon but was considered ready to go with no restrictions at the start of camp. Then he stepped on the back of Kenny Thomas' foot in the second practice of two-a-days and was sent back to a side court for rehabilitation.

    "I think they were calling me names other than Mo," Taylor said. "I was kind of hard to be around, especially when I came to training camp, played the first day, and then they told me to take all that time off. I really got (angry). That's part of the game. You get injured; you get frustrated; you want to get back early. It's the trainer's job to not let you until you're ready. I can't hold it against them. I took it out on them, though.

    "I was kind of getting anxious to play in practice or to play in a game or do something. I knew today was the day I was going to get back to full contact stuff, so I was kind of excited. It felt good out there."

    Taylor had reason to be considerably fresher than his teammates, but he did look good at Westside Tennis Club. He shot well, though he talked about his shooting accuracy as a given. But he was also sharp enough to get his shot easily.

    "The guy is a heck of a player," Tomjanovich said. "He can get the ball in the basket.

    "I think that's being a player who knows who he is. He knows what his strengths are, what things to go to and what things to stay away from."

    Taylor said while the ankle felt fine, he could tell that he has not played in an NBA game since April 2001. He averaged 13 points on 48.9 percent shooting that season and earned a six-year, $48 million contract. He was hurt while backpedaling in a pickup game a few weeks later.

    "I definitely don't feel just 100 percent of where I was before I got hurt," Taylor said. "There are some things I still have to work on, getting my feet a little quicker. It's not really the big things like my jump shot or running. It's the small things I have to get back, like the timing on defense, knowing where to be on offense, timing issues. Once I get that back, I'll be closer to where I was.

    "There wasn't any pain, because it's been a long time. I feel like I can fight through it, and it's going to get better as time goes on."

    But Saturday represented a major step in Taylor's recovery. And as sure as he said he was about his shooting touch, he had waited so long, if not patiently, to be back on a court to take such moments for granted.

    "No matter how many shots you make when you're over there with the strength coach, it doesn't matter unless you get in a game situation," Taylor said. "Going out there today, I felt like I played well. I felt like I ran well. I felt like I did the things I usually do. It kind of boosted my confidence going into Tuesday."

    Now that one argument is over, he can start lobbying for playing time in Tuesday's preseason game with San Antonio.
     
  2. thumbs

    thumbs Contributing Member

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    IMO, Mo Taylor is going to a real weapon and a better defender than advertised this year. He knows he can take more chances on defense because Griffin, K.T. and Morris are there to back him up if he does get into foul trouble.

    Griffin will eventually eclipse Taylor but not until he adds another 15 pounds of muscle and learns how to play his game with the added weight. At 245 to 250 lbs he will be able to stand his ground in the paint against anybody.

    Meanwhile, as a fan of the Rockets, I am excited and cheered by the fact Taylor wants so badly to play and play well. His detractors will fade once he starts to score, rebound and PASS in ways that accentuate the skills his teammates bring to the floor.
     
  3. TheReasonSF3

    TheReasonSF3 Member

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    I can't wait until Mo can playin the regular season. Once we get him off of suspension the Rockets will be a tough team to beat. We are loading at almost every posistion.
     
  4. DJ

    DJ Member

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    Did he really?
     
  5. thumbs

    thumbs Contributing Member

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    I think Feigen would have put a smilie :D after that statement. MoT is not a headcase.
     
  6. saleem

    saleem Contributing Member

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    Mo-T really likes being on the team and naturally is itching to come back on the court. He isn't a troublemaker.
     
  7. smoothie

    smoothie Contributing Member
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    mo is a very nice player to have on your team. he plays hard... and well ;)

    he could get a couple more rebounds, but as far as locker room and off court he is great.
     
  8. Rocket River

    Rocket River Member

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    Beyond his little HICCUP u mean . .. .

    He has alot to prove to me . . . if he starts. . .
    KT's shoes are big ones to fil l l . . . .
    So Mo better HUSTLE HIS *SS OFF . . . . Or I will
    be calling for GRIFF

    KT has me spoiled. .. I WANT TO SEE EFFORT IN THE PF POSITION!!!!


    Rocket River
     
  9. thumbs

    thumbs Contributing Member

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    Starting Game 6 IMO you will see that Mo not only start but thrive by hustling and stretching the defenses with his shooting and passing. Of course, you are right -- only time will tell. I hope we continue this exchange right after Game 6.
     
  10. DaDakota

    DaDakota Contributing Member
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    Mo will be a nice backup for this team.

    DD
     
  11. RocksMillenium

    RocksMillenium Contributing Member

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    Not for a couple of years he won't, Griffin will be filling that role.
     
  12. RocksMillenium

    RocksMillenium Contributing Member

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    <b>He has alot to prove to me . . . if he starts. . .
    KT's shoes are big ones to fil l l . . . .
    So Mo better HUSTLE HIS *SS OFF . . . . Or I will
    be calling for GRIFF

    KT has me spoiled. .. I WANT TO SEE EFFORT IN THE PF POSITION!!!!
    </b>

    Mo has been hustling his entire career, you just refuse to accept it. Filling KT's shoes won't be a problem, I like KT but it isn't like he's a HOF player. Filling Hakeem, and Charles, and Clyde's shoes are big stuff.
     
  13. Rocket River

    Rocket River Member

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    YES HE IS . .. HUSTLER OF FAME!

    Yea I remember mo Hustling at the Paper clips.

    Rocket River
     
  14. Sane

    Sane Member

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    Exactly RocksMillenium....Mo HAS been working hard his entire Rocket career. During the season, and in the offseason.

    I'd like to see KT keep the team flowing, or stretching defenses. Since you guys feel KT is such a better rebounder than MoT, then look at the per minute numbers. KT may be better, but not significantly enough for him to start above Mo.
     
  15. DaDakota

    DaDakota Contributing Member
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    Mo is softer then a babies A$$, the guy is a slow footed jump shooting PF.

    EG will be the starter by the end of the year, and if Mo plays well, the Rocks would be smart to trade him and keep KT.

    DaDakota
     
  16. Sane

    Sane Member

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    Yes, but no one will take Mo before the trading deadline, so what does KT do until next season? WAIT?

    KT works hard, and that's great, but so does Mo. If Mo is soft, KT is short, if KT is quick, Mo's jumper is money.

    Eventually, KT will bethe starter. I'd love to have Griff and KT rather than Griff and MoT, but it's almost mmpossible to achieve without KT being unhappy.
     
  17. DJ

    DJ Member

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    I am surprised no one made a joke about this yet.
     
  18. ricerocket

    ricerocket Member

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    What a good problem to have. You just can't get enough talent at PF/SF in the western conference. MT, Rice, KT, EG, and TMo are the best group in the league. Name one that is better? :D
     
  19. rockbox

    rockbox Contributing Member

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    The problem is I would trade all of them for Duncan.
     
  20. ricerocket

    ricerocket Member

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    You would be like 25th in line! :D
     

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