Mavericks Over/Under: Will Anyone Top Monta’s 18.9 PPG?


As the NBA regular season gets closer to its beginning we at The Smoking Cuban are looking at some key numbers from 2014-15 and predicting what those figures could look like in 2015-16.

This time the number at hand is 18.9 – as in the points per game from team-leader Monta Ellis.

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With Mr. Have It All suiting up for Larry Bird and the Indiana Pacers next season the Mavericks are tasked with replacing the output put forth from him, and it won’t be easy.

Dirk Nowitzki scored 17.3 points per game – check out our predictions for that number here – but will likely see fewer minutes than last season.

So will the Mavericks replicate Monta’s contributions via a single player, or with more of a team effort? I debate the topic with Isaac Harris.

Dec 30, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Monta Ellis (11) congratulates forward

Chandler Parsons

(25) during the second half against the Washington Wizards at the American Airlines Center. Ellis leads his team with 20 points. The Mavericks defeated the Wizards 114-87. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Mavericks Over/Under: Will the team’s leading scorer eclipse Monta’s 18.9 PPG from 2014-15?

Case for Over

Jay Knodell:

I could go either way on this one, but I do think this is the year Chandler Parsons makes a Jimmy Butler-type jump from good player to really good player. Whether that means he’ll surpass the 18.9 points per game that Monta Ellis poured in last season obviously remains to be seen, but I’m predicting that there will be a statistical uptick across the board for Parsons so I’ll go somewhat out on a limb and say he will indeed score at least 19 points a game in 2015-16.

Sure, Parsons is coming off of a fairly concerning knee injury, one that seemed to linger on with no real explanation from the Mavericks late last season. But all signs appear to be pointing towards a full recovery, and if that’s the case, Parsons will be taking the reigns of an offense as the primary option for the first time in his career with about as green a light as one could receive.

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No longer will he be relegated to weak-side spot up shooter while Ellis dribbles himself free for a long two-pointer or Rajon Rondo attempts to probe the defense without drawing any attention from Parsons’ man.

No, this time he will be the team’s best playmaker, and with the jump in usage will come a jump in field goal attempts.

Parsons put up 12.6 last season for the Mavericks – third most on the team – connecting on 46.2% of them. It’ll be interesting to see how the larger role within the offense affects his efficiency, but it’s fair to say that for a lot of his first season in Dallas Parsons wasn’t used correctly all that much.

My money is on the Mavericks playing to their best player’s strengths, and because of that I see his efficiency actually increasing.

With the prospect of Wesley Matthews beginning the season in a suit and Dirk’s lightened workload the scoring is going to have to come from somewhere. Parsons is the best bet and I think he capitalizes, turning in a career year.

Case for Under

Isaac Harris:

When first looking at Monta’s average from last year, I immediately thought that out of all the scorers we have on this team, surely someone will hit that mark. But I think that could be the exact reason why we don’t have someone hit that number.

Since the Mavs won the title, we have notoriously thrown teams together to chase a championship with some rotations coming out better than others, obviously. Of those rotations, last year’s Mavs team was one of the better ones we have fielded with Ellis (18.9 ppg) and CP (15.7 ppg) taking more of the scoring load off of Dirk (17.3 ppg). The fourth leading scorer on the team? You guessed it, Amare Stoudemire at 10.8 ppg.

This year’s team is simply a deeper scoring team and a portion of the reason for me taking under is because of Deron Williams. Last year we rolled out Jameer Nelson and Rajon Rondo as our starting point guards. Nelson averaged 7.3 ppg while Rondo averaged 9.3 ppg. Now I am no Nostradamus, but I really think Deron will average north of 10.0 ppg.

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If there is someone who hits that mark I think it comes down to Chandler Parsons, not Dirk Nowitzki. The Mavericks have been pretty open this summer about minute restrictions for Dirk coming up this season.

Two years ago Dirk averaged 32.9 mpg compared to last years 29.6 mpg. That trend will continue to drop this year along with his scoring average, but not by much

I really think we will reflect the scoring averages of our 2012-13 team (hopefully not the same playoff results). That year we saw a very balanced scoring effort with 6 people in double figure averages. Even though not exact, this is how similar I think we will reflect….

This is obviously just the top 4 scorers as I am not including players such as Anderson, Harris, and whatever big body gets the most of our Center minutes. As you see, I don’t think we miss the mark by much; and I don’t think that is a bad thing.

With our balanced scoring, a star for the clutch moments, and one of the best coaches in the game, I really think the league is sleeping on the Mavs this year.

Tell us what you think!

Next: Mavericks Roundtable: Who Starts at Center?

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