Virtue raises children, donates money, acts morally, that much I know.

Virtue wins games? That much I don’t, though it is the operating assumption of almost any athlete-based article:

“Michael Vick’s playing better since he stopped killing dogs! All hail redemption!”

I won’t psychoanalyze Monta Ellis, it’s not in me to understand him. I can’t comprehend some of my closest friends, let alone fit them into narratives, declare Alpha Dog winners, and Beta Goat losers. And I’ve never even met Monta.

(Until recently, his cadence was inscrutable to my stupid ears)

All things being equal, Monta’s mature, measured interview with Sam Amick is good. His “just can’t” rant of one year ago was the harbinger of doom–though it was more symptomatic of Warriors woes than causal.

Jared Cowley took issue with some of Ellis’s responses because Monta seemed locked into a leader pose. Again–I’m not psychoanalyzing–but Cowley’s take makes a certain amount of sense. In the pervasive creature parlance of the NBA: Monta took Alpha Dog shots with awful efficiency. The Warriors don’t need Ellis to grow into some fatherly force for good in this world: They need him to shoot less. They don’t need Ellis to progress, they need him to revert–to 2008, before all that maturity stuff happened.

Perhaps his acceptance of the offguard role is a step in direction’s right. Here’s to hoping Ellis does more with less.


9 Responses

  1. Eric

    How come nobody is talking about the fact that Monta *LED THE LEAGUE* in MPG last year? Isn’t that bound to affect a guy’s efficiency?

    • evanz

      “How come nobody is talking about the fact that Monta *LED THE LEAGUE* in MPG last year? Isn’t that bound to affect a guy’s efficiency?”

      Look up Gerald Wallace. 40 mpg, 0.586 TS%. I ran some numbers on all players who played more than 35 mpg, and could not find any significant effect on TS%. So, my answer to your question is, “Minimal or none.”

      Monta just needs to choose his shots better. Whether he plays 5 or 6 minutes less per game won’t make a difference alone.

  2. bgalella

    It’ll be interesting to see how Monta Ellis tweaks his game. David Lee and Stephen Curry can score with anyone in this league, Ellis has been used to HAVING to carry the scoring load. He’s a talented enough player, but do you think the constant trade rumors will serve as a distraction for Ellis? What is a good scoring range for Ellis this season (I think 16-19 ppg is realistic).

  3. Andrew

    Why are we worried about him saying that he is a leader? If anything, on a 26 win team, let’s hope that someone would step up and say something! Curry is already the “new face” of the franchise but if the W’s happened to get John Wall, I’m sure he would be trying to validate his leadership role as well. Like you said Ethan, “Virtue wins games?” Not at all. So it doesn’t matter if he says he’s a leader in the middle of September, the future will decide who the leader is. Just like it did when the Warriors had Curry fall into their laps.

  4. Ethan Sherwood Strauss

    Hi Michael,

    “creature parlance” is the widespread description of shot-takers as “Alpha Dogs.” I’m not saying Ellis should regress, I’m saying he should revert. I loved 2008 Monta and he helps the team better when he’s taking fewer shots.

    • Rick Blaine

      Agreed, Sherwood. It’s a matter of returning to efficiency. He had an unbelievable run in 2008; he was scoring at a high clip within the flow of the offense. His field goal percentage was unnaturally high for a guard, and he was taking a lot of shots. The difference is, they were GOOD shots. He wasn’t dominating the ball during possessions. Last year he dominated the ball and player movement stopped. Possessions weren’t valued. He is a much better player off of the ball.

  5. Michael

    We don’t need him to revert, we need him to progress. Its’ as simple as ball movement and shot selection and his acceptance of not being the only scorer on the roster. And what the heck is “pervasive creature parlance”?