Part of the ongoing series of community generated scouting reports for each of the Golden State Warriors players. They will be updated throughout the season as we see more player development.
Strengths: One of the fastest players in the NBA. Monta Ellis knows how to finish around the basket and he can score in a bunch of ways. He is quite an athletic specimen. Monta Ellis shot 45% last season despite being known as a “volume shooter”. He has drastically improved his range and his decision making and his improved defense ranked 2nd in the league in steals last season. He has been maturing a lot lately becoming a team leader. He is a good rebounder for his size. He can only improve more.
Weaknesses: Undersized as a SG and not a pure PG. A lot of question marks regarding his past — moped accident, immaturity shown against then-rookie Stephen Curry, shot selection, matador defense, volume shooting, seems to have been improved upon this season (and i’d say since late last season), whether it’s on the court or off the court. Only time would tell if he has matured for good. If so, he’d be one of the top 15 players in the league.
Overall: Monta Ellis possesses a rare combination of speed, quickness, body control, and leaping ability that makes him one of the best all-around finishers in the NBA.
Aside from his physical gifts, he has excellent finishing “instincts”, and has developed a wide array of shots in the paint to make up for his relative lack of height and length. Runners, floaters, lay-ups from all angles, off-hand finishes, you name it, he’s got it.
In general, Monta Ellis has a good feel for floor spacing. He moves into open space well off the ball, comes off of screens well for his midrange shot, is excellent at using rubs and curl screens to get in the paint, and is a respectable pick and roll player. He also excels as a finisher on the fast break, using his straight line speed to get out wide and make himself available for the pass early. He has a real knack for leaking out ahead of his defender on the break during change of possessions.
As a shooter, Monta Ellis has solid footwork, squares up well, has a good release point with a relatively quick release. However, his mechanics tend to break down at times, resulting in a flatter than usual trajectory on his jump-shot. He is about as reliable as you can get from 15-20 feet out with his feet set and his legs under him, but hasn’t proven to be an efficient shooter from 21-feet out.
When he tries to pick and choose his opportunities, he’s a tremendous asset to the team. When he gets in Allen Iverson mode, I think he’s a hindrance to winning.
The best thing about Monta Ellis is he’s impossible to defend. You can’t game-plan for the speed that he possesses. The Warriors should never go for long scoring droughts with him on the floor. Couple his knack for scoring with his ability to do it efficiently and he becomes very valuable to a team.
Defensively, Monta Ellis struggles in man-to-man situations due to poor fundamentals, but has the athleticism and instincts to at times stay in front of his man on his initial move. His biggest strength defensively is his ability to play the passing lanes. He has also shown that he is willing to step up and take on the opposing team’s best perimeter player with varied results.
Monta Ellis is the uniquely talented, much maligned player all Warriors fans have a soft spot for. There are very few players better suited to play the off the ball scorer’s role as well as Monta, but far too frequently he relies on his own ability to the detriment of his teammates. A controlled, team-oriented Monta Ellis would be one of the most feared offensive players in the NBA.
When his head is in the game and he’s on board with doing his best to play team basketball, he’s a bright spot for the W’s.
Best Case: Monta Ellis
Worst Case: Monta Ellis
(Thanks – Internally Developed Suck, gswfan4ever, gsfanatic1, san ramon warrior)