Friday, March 20, 2009


Copyright 2009 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

Robert Rowell and the Golden State Warriors should kill the option/threat to void Monta Ellis' 6 year / $66 million contract. After a disappointing return, he took a break, and came back almost as good as pre-injury Monta. It was reported by the Warriors organization that the reason Monta had to take several games off was because of stiffness in his ankle. He disputes that claim and sites family issues as the primary reason for his absence. He is fighting for his contract, is winning back the confidence of many, and should be rewarded with piece of mind by killing the option to void his contract. In the last 5 games, he seems to have regained his quickness and timing. His shot is going down and he is able to finish at the rim at a high percentage. Monta doesn't look as explosive, but hopefully that will come back next season, if not sooner.

2008-2009 Game Log

Comeback #1 Stats:
13 games
431 min (33.2)
70-176 fg (.398)
5-10 3pt (.500)
29-37 ft (.783)
20 stl (1.54)
5 blk (.385)
32 to (2.46)
50 reb (3.85)
36 ast (2.77)
174 pts (13.4)

Comeback #2 Stats:
5 games
192 min (38.4)
56-98 fg (.571)
0-4 3pt (.000)
18-21 ft (.857)
8 stl (1.60)
2 blk (.40)
15 to (3.00)
22 reb (4.40)
23 ast (2.60)
130 pts (26.0)

2007-2008 Season Averages:
81 games
37.9 min
.531 fg
.231 3pt
.767 ft
1.5 stl
.3 blk
2.1 to
4.9 reb
3.9 ast
20.2 pts

So far, Monta has shown that he can still be an elite scorer and help on the boards. What he hasn't shown is that he can successfully make the transition to PG, something coach Nelson insist is what he must do in order to be considered among the best in the league. He seems to have extended his range (although he has struggled recently on 3 point attempts). He has an assist/turnover ratio of 1.53 - unacceptable for a lead PG in the NBA. He will have to show vast improvement before the end of the season or the Warriors will seriously think about scraping the whole Monta Ellis at PG idea, throwing the future starting lineup and rotation into question. Moves will have to be made to bring in a competent true PG. Ideally, you want a big PG like Baron Davis, but here are some of the qualities this new edition must posses:
  1. court vision
  2. pass first mentality
  3. basketball IQ
  4. high assist / turnover ratio
  5. ability to guard opposing SG's
  6. size
  7. athleticism
  8. perimeter defense
  9. perimeter shooting
Monta Ellis' recent good play gives many fans and the organization reason for hope. Ellis can become a star in the league if he has a backcourt mate that will compliment his skill set and elevate his game by finding him easy baskets, drawing double teams, covering up his defensive deficiencies, and simply allow him to focus on being an elite scorer. If Don Nelson ever has enough faith in his players to abandon small ball when match-ups are favorable, a backcourt with Ellis at SG could be lethal when a defensive trio of Randolph, Wright, and Biedrins are there to provide help defense as Ellis' man blows past him.

Brighter days are ahead for the Warriors and Monta Ellis.

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