Former UCF star Jermaine Taylor makes first NBA start against the Lakers, scores career-high 15 points for Houston – Knights Notepad – Orlando Sentinel

2010 March 28
by rahat huq

Former UCF star Jermaine Taylor made his first NBA career start when the Houston Rockets hosted the Los Angeles records. Rockets officials are seeking verification from the Elias Sports Bureau, but Taylor is believed to be the first ex-UCF player to ever start in an NBA game.

via Former UCF star Jermaine Taylor makes first NBA start against the Lakers, scores career-high 15 points for Houston – Knights Notepad – Orlando Sentinel.

The thing I find most interesting about Jermaine Taylor is that he’s pretty much the anti-Moreyball player.  Like Billy Beane, Daryl Morey has always seemed to target players who had some flaw so irredeemable that other GM’s overlooked their NBA-level qualities and dismissed them entirely.

But Taylor is exactly the type of guy that Morey avoids.  The college star with the prototypical body and athleticism who is good at everything, but not NBA-level at any one thing.  Those jack-of-all trade guys are the ones who usually flop.

Taylor’s best quality seems to be his competitive spirit.  He’s extremely physical both defensively and offensively, getting very rough with Kobe Bryant at times last night.  The shot is weak: he was accurate from ‘3′ but I don’t expect Taylor to ever be known for his shooting; his release is far too slow and carries too high of an arc to get off against coverage.  I do think though that he can develop into a penetrating spark off the bench at some point.

My hope is that Taylor continues to see minutes.  My personal preference would be that the team continue to sit Martin and rest Scola, giving Taylor, Jordan Hill, and Chase Budinger heavy minutes in these final few games.  However, I don’t see this happening.

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  • Snoopy2006
    Rahat - I remember a while back we were discussing Beasley and trying to figure out what's up with him. I talked about his physical talents/limits, but said the main thing I saw from him was the wrong mentality. It's something that's hard to articulate or quantify, but I wanted to share this article - I think it shows a little bit of that mentality. Cockiness is different from confidence; the former evaporates during times of struggle, and I see that with Beasley.

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/03/29/1552765/t...
  • rahat_huq
    thanks for passing this on - very interesting.
  • Nobody is better than Jordan
    I distinctly remember JT's crazy performance during his pre-season game in Orlando.
    Ever since then, it was like he'd been tamed. Like somebody got him to adjust his game for longevity and protecting an investment. As if they knew he was good all along, but wanted to save him for later.
    Problem is, you aren't going to find too many players willing to let their best years go by while a team just decides to put them in their back pocket and wait it out. If Taylor doesn't get more minutes, it'll become frustrating for a lot of people who know what he's really capable of. As you said, he can play physical and has explosive moments. I'd like for him to be the Rockets "X-factor" player. Like JR Smith is for the Nuggets. Unpredictable, and a threat from anywhere on the court.
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