Monta Ellis: Catalyst to Mavericks’ Hot Start


Monta Ellis is off to one of the best starts of his career. The nine-year veteran just finished off one of his finest weeks to date, averaging a team best 21.5 points per game on 52% shooting, including 40% from downtown, in just 32 minutes a night. He added four assists and 1.5 steals, while posting a stellar 120.2 offensive rating. The Mavericks were 3-1 in that stretch and Ellis deserves the bulk of the credit, as they were a full +24 points per 100 possessions with him on the court.

His individual numbers so far this season have been great, but his ability to score has never been in question. It’s his effect on his teammates that has really been remarkable. Brandan Wright has made every shot he’s taken off a pass from Ellis. Chandler Parsons is hitting 55% of his attempts from an Ellis dish, and Devin Harris 50%. Dirk Nowitzki is connecting on 60% of his three-point attempts when he’s on the receiving end of an Ellis pass, and Tyson Chandler is successful on 87.5% of his tries when working with his pick-and-roll partner. All of those are substantially higher than their season averages.

Nov 9, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Monta Ellis (11) drives to the basket past Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade (3) during the first quarter at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Mavericks have the top rated offense in the league, and Ellis is a big reason why. He can score in a variety of ways, and draws a lot of defensive attention. He compliments Nowitzki very well, and vice versa. Nowitzki’s floor stretching capability gives the slashing Ellis plenty of room to work, and his ability to probe into the lane is opening up opportunities for Nowitzki and the other shooters on the perimeter.

More from The Smoking Cuban

As it stands now Ellis’ 19.7 PER would be a career-high, and logic tells us he’ll only grow more comfortable with his new teammates as the season progresses. The Mavs have three new faces in the starting lineup, yet are producing like they’ve played with each other for years. The sky is the limit for this offense, just sit back and enjoy the show.