Sep 29, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Monta Ellis (11) poses for a portrait during media day at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Monta Ellis is coming off his best postseason performance of his nine year NBA career. Now in his second season with the Dallas Mavericks, Ellis will a focal point in every opponents game plan.
Dirk Nowitzki told a local radio station this week that Monta Ellis “revitalized” his career. That is big vote of confidence from a future hall-of-famer that has recently re-signed to finish his career with Monta as a teammate. Ellis averaged 20.4 PPG as the Mavs pushed the champion San Antonio Spurs to an unlikely seven games, their toughest series of the postseason. During the season, he led the team in minutes and assists while spending 95% of his court time playing point guard, not the two that we all assumed he would.
It would be hard to assume that Ellis will spend that much time playing the point this season with the additions of Jameer Nelson and Raymond Felton. In a three guard rotation, when you add Devin Harris, he should return to his more natural shooting guard spot. Will this make him more of a threat?
"“I don’t think its going to make a difference how teams view or try to play us”, Monta said after I asked if he thinks teams will game plan differently this upcoming season. “I think the biggest thing for us is to take what the defense gives us. Use the guys that was [brought] to this team to relieve pressure from the scoring and defensive end, put it together and see what happens.”"
Of the new players added to the roster, only Chandler Parsons can be seen as second or third scoring option. Adding him will help stretch the floor, but in the starting lineup Ellis is the biggest threat to drive the lane and collapse the defense. For that, you have to game plan if your an opposing coach.
Even with the new additions and coming off a seven-game series with the Spurs, Ellis is still understands that nothing will be easier this season.
"“We put a great group of guys together this summer. I think we did an excellent job. The thing is, for us now, is to put it together. Get everybody on the same page and come out an do better. At least five to ten games better than we did last year. We got to start from day one and go all the way to the end of the season.”"
Ellis has a player option for the 2015-16 season, which is perfect if you believe the new TV rights deal for the NBA will be around $1 billion per year. That means if he can have a better performance than last year he puts himself in position make more money, even if he stays with the Mavs. His current demeanor would suggest that winning is more important for the Mississippi native regardless of how you try to stop him.
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