“Placing one of the league’s truly great defenders on one of the worst defensive teams would be a huge upgrade and would transform Golden State into a legit contender for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference.”
I completely agree with his assessment, and that’s why I’d rather Lowe keep such matters secret until after Philadelphia signs on the dotted line. Sadly, he’s writing these pieces from the perspective of an objective, comprehensive NBA journalist–not someone who must watch 82 Warriors games per year.
Also, their offensive combination bears little synchronicity. Ellis is best when getting a running start on received slash-and-kick passes, and Curry is no slasher. Stephen’s specialty is the pick and roll, a Lee-Curry transaction that phases Monta from the game. Rather than fade out, Ellis wrests the ball away for an offense that relies on his contested jumpers or driving dump-off passes. The visual of these dueling usage rates evokes an aural sense of two people, discordantly shouting opposing world views. It needs to damn well stop.
“Curry or Ellis” has been a haunting question, one that hung over every possession these last two years. It’s a problem that never ceases impatiently tapping its foot to the rhythm of Ellis dribbling down a shotclock. If this question can be answered by one of the NBA’s best defenders, then all the better.
Many would disagree on account of Monta’s talent. Ellis is a thrill to watch for many of the same reasons his efficiency flags. There’s a guilty pleasure in beholding this one-on-five act. Twisting layups, contested jumpers, one-haded push-shots, it’s all a grand game of NBA Jam at Oracle. And sometimes…he’s on fire!
But, Monta does not score consistently enough to justify all this shooting. Quoting Lowe again:
“It’s easy to look at Ellis’ gaudy scoring numbers, Iguodala’s clear failings as a top offensive option and the 76ers’ below-average offense, and conclude that this trade makes sense. The Sixers desperately need a perimeter player who can create his own shot. Ellis can certainly do that, even if he doesn’t score more efficiently, on a per-minute basis, than Lou Williams.”
To be clear, when I cite Monta’s efficiency issues, it’s different from claiming he’s a bad player. Ellis is clearly talented, but that talent is not manifesting itself as productivity. Perhaps he needs a better situation, and a bigger point guard to play with.
For now, this isn’t working. We’re on year three of poor plus-minus numbers from GSW’s lead scorer, and it’s beginning to look less and less coincidental. Iguodala has his offensive issues, but he and Ellis notch very similar PERs. The biggest difference between them is that Andre is possibly the best defensive starter, while Monta is possibly the worst. With that in mind, this would be a fantastic deal for the Dubs.
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