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2009-10 Season in Review: Morris Peterson
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com
May 18, 2010


Hornets.com continues its look back at the 2009-10 season with player-by-player analysis of the team:



What happened:
Coming off an injury-riddled 2008-09 season, Peterson began 2009-10 with an expanded role, moving into the starting lineup on Opening Night. However, that stint only lasted six games; he was replaced at shooting guard by Devin Brown on Nov. 8. Peterson received limited playing time over the next two-plus months of the season, appearing in only 10 of the teams first 46 games. From there however, Peterson was a prominent member of the rotation, starting each of the final 33 games for New Orleans.




Overall, the increased playing time meant Petersons 2009-10 was much more productive than the previous season, when he established career-lows in several categories, including minutes per game (12.0) and scoring average (4.4). The Michigan State product was appreciative of the opportunity to make a larger impact in his 10th pro season.

Ive been in this league for a while, and I know there are going to be some ups and downs, Peterson said of his fluctuation in chances to play over the past two seasons. You just have to get through it. When I was going through tough times, I was just working on my game and doing whatever I could to get better. Its about opportunity. Im glad that Coach (Jeff Bower) has the confidence in me to go out and get the job done. Its about being a professional. It feels good to be out on the floor and help our team win some games.

Best game:
The 6-foot-7, 220-pound swingman registered his first double-double in a Hornets uniform on Feb. 10, when his 16 points and 10 rebounds sparked New Orleans to one of its most impressive wins of the season. The Hornets posted a 93-85 home victory over the Boston Celtics and headed into the All-Star break with a 28-25 record. Peterson scored 13 of his 16 points in the second half, spearheading the Hornets rally from a 12-point halftime deficit.

What's next:
Peterson has one year remaining on the four-year free-agent contract he signed with New Orleans in the summer of 2007. Heading into the 11th year of his pro career, hes committed to focusing on being physically prepared for the grind of each season.

Last summer I got in the gym and didnt make any excuses, Peterson said of his training for the 2009-10 season. My coach at Michigan State (Tom Izzo) always told me youre going to get out of this game what you put in. I feel more relaxed on the floor because I know how hard I worked and what Im capable of doing.

The last couple years I have had some nagging injuries and some setbacks. But I never wanted to make that excuse, because everyone goes through something. There were some times I got up in the morning and my ankle was sore. I also had my knee drained. But after 10 years in the NBA, if you ask anyone who has done that (by playing that long), theyre going to tell you there is something wrong with them.



OTHER 2009-10 SEASON IN REVIEWS:
CHRIS PAUL SEAN MARKS DARIUS SONGAILA EMEKA OKAFOR MARCUS THORNTON
PEJA STOJAKOVIC AARON GRAY JAMES POSEY MORRIS PETERSON DARREN COLLISON
JULIAN WRIGHT DAVID WEST



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