Monta Ellis has just came off his best overall season in the NBA. He averaged 19.0 PPG, 5.7 APG, and 3.6 RPG while shooting 45% from the floor. So much for being a loose cannon, the reputation he earned for putting up stats inefficiently. While he is scoring slightly less than his career average (19.4), he has significantly grown as a playmaker and in his decision making. Monta also led the league in drives per game and points per game on drives.
What I am getting at here is that Monta is not what he used to be. He is no longer a wild gunner who took 17 shots a game while only shooting 41%. He is now an efficient player who looks for his teammates more and continuously gets to the basket instead of launching it from deep. It will only get better from here on out with the Mavericks.
We can highlight Rick Carlisle, a new system, winning organization, or even playing with a player like Dirk Nowitzki. At some point, we have to give Monta Ellis credit. He has always had the talent, but now he is showcasing that talent on a winning team.
This past season was Monta Ellis and many others first with the Dallas Mavericks. This means that the players weren’t familiar with one another until later in the season when the Mavericks really began to heat up. So this upcoming season, now that everyone is aquatinted with one another, will be better for Monta and the team as a whole. His assist numbers will go up and his turnovers should go down being more familiar with the system.
Rick Carlisle said he will work with Monta Ellis over the summer and feels that he can take even more leaps in his game. With the help of Rick Carlisle over the summer, his shooting percentage and points per game will rise due to a more consistent jumper.
Everyone, inculuding Dirk Nowitzki, Donnie Nelson, Mark Cuban, and Rick Carlisle, have said if Monta Ellis could develop a consistent 15 to 18 foot jumper, no one can guard him. We have all seen the games this past season where Monta’s jump shot is going in and it is a beautiful thing to witness. If he could do that on a regular basis, the sky is the limit on what he can bring to the Mavs.
All this being said, the Western Conference All-Star team is pretty stacked at the guard position. There will be Steph Curry, Chris Paul, James Harden, Kobe, Damian Lillard, Monta, Tony Parker, Russell Westbrook, and Eric Bledsoe competing for 5 guard spots. That’s some serious competition, but I believe that Monta Ellis will prove to the fans and the leagues coaches that he is one of the best guards not only in the Western Conference, but in the NBA. He deserves a spot on the roster.