When Monta Ellis signed that 3 year 25.08 million dollar contract, many of us were unsure which Monta we were going to get. Is it the one who produced and was the main scorer for the Warriors or the one who did not have fulfilling seasons in Milwaukee? Well clearly by what we’ve seen this season, especially in the playoffs, we have the best Monta Ellis yet.
Monta is no longer the trigger happy SG he was in at Golden State and Milwaukee, he is much more than that. Since going under Rick Carlisle’s wing Monta has grown to become a huge puzzle piece in the Mavs’ championship picture. He led the team in assists with 5.7 a game and only attempted 15.2 shots per game.
Monta Ellis in the past, would not have been happy with that stat line seeing as he only averaged 19 points a game. While in Golden State and Milwaukee he shot it up around 18-19 times a game and averaged just around 20 points, but back then he was not nearly as efficient as he is now, taking less shots but making more of them. Carlisle has taught him to enjoy the second option role for maybe the first time in his career.
He is doing what OJ Mayo couldn’t; find other ways to impact the game if you can’t score. That is exactly what Ellis did, and boy did he look good doing it. We can’t forget about the big man though, playing with Dirk can make anyone look good. With a solid player like Monta who now doesn’t mind giving the ball up for a better option than taking the first shot he sees. It opens up opportunities for pick and rolls, and opening up looks off of screens. Dirk can score from anywhere and Monta has really developed his jump shot off of those screens, and he has always had the ability to drive the lane at will which is exactly what the Mavericks need offensively. Hopefully with the addition of another solid scorer, like a Chandler Parsons, Luol Deng, or can somehow pull off signing Carmelo Anthony, would only see Monta’s game improve tenfold.
Monta Ellis’ game has the ability to reach heights not many of us as fans thought possible. Behind Rick Carlisle’s offensive mindset (third most offensively efficient team in the NBA) and Ellis’ new found playing style, his opportunities are endless as a scorer and as an assist leader.
Unfortunately Dirk has to retire at some point, hopefully later rather than sooner. The question is will there be anyone to take that first option offensively? Let’s face it no one is going to come even close to filling Dirk’s shoes, but is Ellis our next go to guy? Well with the way Carlisle is coaching him and his amazing adjustment in just one season, the future looks bright for Monta Ellis, and the Mavericks.