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Who Is Mike Taylor?

One of the names thrown out there recently for the backup PG position is Mike Taylor, formerly of the Clippers. He's not exactly a household name, so it might help to get better acquainted with him. Tom Halzack takes a look at Taylor on the Conn Post.

6′ 2″, 23 year old Mike Taylor was a rookie for the Clippers last season. He played in just 51 games for them and averaged 5.7 points and 2.1 assists in 15 minutes. On his best night, Mike scored 35 points in one game against the Knicks and followed that up with 23 more against the Kings the following game.

He started 5 games and averaged 11 pts with 3.2 assist in 28 minutes in those games. After the All Star break, in 18 minutes he averaged 7.7 points and 2.4 assists in 27 games for the Clips, while shooting 39% from the arc. He only weighs 165 lbs. I haven’t really watched him play much, so I can’t offer too much more than that.

An Iowa State player, Taylor played for the Iowa Stampede of the NBA Development League before being drafted by the Portland Trailblazers.

This could be a battle of late second round draft picks as Taylor was the 55th pick in ‘08, and Hudson is the 58th pick in ‘09.

Lester Hudson is solidly built and has been suggested as a potential poor man’s Nate Robinson by one writer.

Only after seeing each of the above players play will I be able to make a more informed judgment on them.

Update: Here's another link on Mike Taylor (with relevant quotes after the break)

If you're wondering why Taylor was waived today, you need to realize that his three year contract was unguaranteed, and that it became guaranteed as of August 1. From the moment the Clippers acquired Sebastian Telfair two week ago, particularly in light of their pursuit of Ramon Sessions, this moment seemed inevitable. The Clippers were working too hard to shore up the position Taylor plays - and with roster spots becoming scarce and Taylor's contract unguaranteed, this was bound to happen. It's too bad for a lot of reasons, one of which is that we'd all prefer to have Taylor from a basketball and potential standpoint as opposed to say Ricky Davis or Mark Madsen. But those guys have guaranteed contracts, in their final year no doubt, so they have a value of a different kind. The roster was too crowded, and Taylor was the odd man out.

It's tough to reconcile today's events with the events of March 25, 2009 in Madison Square Garden. On that evening, a little more than 4 months ago, Taylor scored a career high 35 points against the Knicks. It was the third highest scoring game for a rookie last season - after Eric Gordon's 41 and Anthony Morrow's 37 against the Clippers. It's also worth noting that he followed up that game with two more solid outings, scoring 69 points in that three game span, while at the same time doing a better job of taking care of the ball - a 3 to 1 assist to turnover ratio during those games. It seemed, perhaps, as the season was winding down, Mike Taylor was 'getting it.'

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