The biggest move the Dallas Mavericks made entering the 2013-2014 NBA season was arguably adding the dynamic high-scoring combo guard, Monta Ellis. Whether you loved or hated the signing, everyone must admit it was the Maverick’s biggest signing of the offseason.
That honor was supposed to go to prized free agent, Dwight Howard, but Howard chose the in-state rival Houston Rockets as home instead. Ellis, serving as the consolation prize in the Dwight Howard sweepstakes, took on loads of criticism. Already a polarizing individual, Ellis came to Dallas with loads of expectations from both his lovers and his haters alike.
The main knock on Monta has revolved around his one-dimensional game. Ellis can score. That’s his thing. Sharing the ball and playing defense are another story. Frankly, they’re more of an afterthought.
On this team the Dallas Mavericks demanded more of their players than mere scoring ability. They needed a guard who could create plays for other players. Penetrating and dishing out assists were almost as important.
Known as a dreaded, “Volume Shooter” Ellis would have to make better shot selections and lean on quality rather than quantity. The Mavs need him to be their leading scorer – no doubt about that – but he can’t be their only scorer. This is a team that can expect to have 5 players with double-digits in scoring each night. Ellis would need to be a leader in all aspects of the offense
With a defensive liability beside him in Jose Calderon, the Mavs needed Ellis to play active defense. Often seen as an unwilling defender, Ellis appears to possess the skills if he so desires to actually apply them defensively.
Much is demanded of Monta in this ‘13-’14 season. He has lovers and haters all over Mavs Nation. One thing can be sure –He has massive expectations on his highly talented game.
With game 1 in the books he seems to be living up to those expectations by scoring 32 pts. and dishing out 8 assists. Volume shooter you say? Try 11-17 shooting from the floor. Monta just set the bar pretty high with 81 games to go.
Obviously 32 points is a ridiculously high number to maintain. That’s especially true (and unnecessary) given the other scoring options on the team. But if Monta can maintain the shooting percentage, the assists, and keep working on defense, he could lead this team back to the playoffs.
Is Monta Ellis a trick or a treat? It’s too soon to say. But he sure looks like a treat so far.
Do you have questions or comments regarding Dallas area sports? Email Reid at [email protected]. You may be included in the next weekly mailbag. Follow Reid on twitter @ReidDHanson