Clipped Wings: Anthony Morrow and Travis Outlaw Are Keys to Nets' Success

Brandon PutreContributor INovember 21, 2010

When the New Jersey Nets signed Anthony Morrow and Travis Outlaw this past offseason, they hoped the two wingers would bring solid, consistent offense to a team that lacked clutch scoring all of last season.

That has just not happened, or at least not with enough consistency.

Both players have a reputation for scoring, Outlaw gaining the nickname "Mr. Fourth Quarter" in Portland, and Morrow known for his deadly accuracy beyond the arc (45%) in Golden State.

While both players have had their fair share of 20+ point games, they have yet to hit their respective strides on the same night. 

This trend is most frustrating during close losses, as demonstrated most recently against the Utah Jazz. In a game where the Nets hung around against a very good team, Morrow lead the team with 24 points, while Outlaw struggled to even put the ball in the basket, finishing the game with only 3 points on a miserable 1-12 shooting. A solid night from Outlaw could have easily propelled the Nets past the Jazz in what would have been a very sweet victory.

In the previous contest against the Clippers, the reverse was true, as Outlaw exploded for 23 and Morrow contributed nine. 

Below is a scoring comparison of each player for each of the Nets' first 13 games.

DEN (L)1215
SAC (L)1713
UTA (L)243
LAC (W)923
ORL (L)320
CLE (W)215
CLE (L)1027
MIA (L)255
ORL (L)517
MIA (L)116
CHA (L)50
SAC (W)418
DET (W)135


Solid offensive production from both wingers on any given night forces the defense to stay honest. When both shooters are on, a defense just cannot afford to leave one of them alone on the outside and hope for the best.

In that sense, Morrow and Outlaw sort of work off each other, seeing as neither of them are good at creating their own shots. With a spread out defense, both players are more likely to see more catch-and-shoot opportunities.

Fortunately, it seems like Morrow and Outlaw are starting to find their rhythm, both reaching double figures in the last two games. The only other time this happened was against Cleveland in a tough loss.

Though the Nets lost both of those games, they were only a possession or two away from wins each time. Had Lopez and Harris been on their games against Sacramento, the Nets would have won easily.

It is only a matter of time before this team really clicks, but it cannot happen until Morrow and Outlaw provide on a consistent basis.