This offseason didn’t go quite as planned. Now that I mention it the offseason before that didn’t go as planned either.
Plan A was obviously to sign All-Star center Dwight Howard to a max contract. The Plan A before that was to sign Deron Williams. Neither of those plans were realized and the Mavericks were forced to improvise.
When Dwight Howard rebuked the Mavericks and selected the in-state rival, Houston Rockets, Mark Cuban acted quickly. The Mavericks went on tear rebuilding their roster virtually overnight. The prize of their free agent spending spree?
The polarizing scorer was heralded by some for his offensive prowess and chastised by others for his unwillingness to defend. Yours truly likened the signing to when the Mavericks acquired Antoine Walker from Boston. I believe I called him a one-dimensional volume shooter.
While I’m not ready to eat my words completely I am willing to admit I may have been a little overly dramatic with my original assessment. In this extremely short sample size, Monta Ellis has been playing like a star.
He’s ranked #8 in the NBA in scoring and he’s doing so with a .495 field goal percentage. Of the 7 players above him on the scoring list, only LeBron James boasts a better FG%. Monta is also tied for 19th in assists averaging 5.7 per game. This is nothing spectacular but keep in mind he’s a SG and not a PG. Of the 18 players above him on the list, all but two are PGs. THAT’S impressive!
Monta’s turnovers are higher than we would like but his steals are 1.58, which at least makes up for a sizable amount of them. He’s automatic from the free throw line and clutch in the 4th quarter.
They said for this Mavericks team to succeed, Dirk Nowitzki would have to be the second best player. Well, I’m not ready to say Ellis has passed Dirk yet but if Dirk is #1 then Monta has been 1a.
To my surprise, Plan B is working just fine.
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