The Dallas Mavericks will face their former shooting guard and arguably their best player for the past 2 seasons, Monta Ellis. He averaged 19.0 points per game in his 2 seasons with Dallas, leading the team in scoring in his second year. He led the Mavs to the playoffs in both seasons alongside Dirk Nowitzki. He opted out of final year of his 3 year deal which was due to pay him $8,720,000 in the 2015-2016 season.
Monta and the Mavs decided to part ways during free agency, Monta signed a 33 million dollar contract over 3 years with the Indiana Pacers. Meanwhile the Mavs signed Wesley Matthews to a 70 million dollar contract over 4 years. Wesley Matthews tore his achilles against Dallas in Portland on the 6th of March and missed the rest of the season and the playoffs. He wasn’t even expected to be ready to play in the first month of the regular season in 2015-2016.
With the first quarter of the season already passed, we can have a look at Monta Ellis’ and Wesley Matthews’ start at their new teams. Although Wesley Matthews is only averaging 13.2 PPG, 1.8 APG and 3.2 RPG his stats have shot up in the last 7 games. The 7 games in December so far Wesley Matthews is averaging 18.1 PPG, 1.9 APG and 4.4 RPG. He has really started to get back to full health after his achilles injury, which is a great sign for Dallas.
Monta Ellis has not looked comfortable playing for the Pacers this season, his numbers are way down compared to his tenure with the Mavericks. Monta is only averaging 12.3 PPG, 4.7 APG and 3.1 RPG. Paul George is the number 1 offensive option on the Pacers team now, Ellis has definitely found it hard playing second or third fiddle to Paul George. Ellis needs the ball in his hands to score and make plays, he is not a catch and shoot guy. Nevertheless he can still be that “bad man” as Derek Harper said many times.
Comparing Wesley Matthews’ defence to Monta Ellis’ is chalk and cheese. No stats are even needed to see who is the better defender. Monta was always a defensive liability for the Mavs. Last season the Mavs were ranked 25th in the league in opponents points per game. Now that Wesley Matthews has come to Dallas and the other additions such as Deron Williams and Zaza Pachulia the Mavericks are ranked 14th in the league in opponents points per game.
Wesley Matthews perimeter defence makes him one of the best 2-way guards in the league. Dallas was ranked 27th in opponents 3 point percentage last season, they allowed teams to shoot 364% from beyond the arc last. Now with Rajon Rondo and Monta Ellis gone and Deron Williams and Wesley Matthews coming to Dallas the Mavericks are ranked 6th in opponents 3 point percentage, with Dallas only allowing teams to shoot .330% from 3 point range. What a difference Wesley Matthews has made on the perimeter and also interior defence. When Dallas visit Indiana tonight at 6:00pm CT on FOX Sports Southwest we will see Wesley Matthews and Monta Ellis face off, it should be a great matchup.