Attack- an aggressive and violent action against a person or place.
It’s more against a team, rather than a person or place, but Monta Ellis is absolutely in attack mode right now.
The Dallas Mavericks needed to bring in a scorer. Someone who could take over games, and dominate the offensive side of the ball. Ellis has done just that, and then some. The Mavericks are thrilled with his play, but fantasy owners might be even more excited. Through four games, Ellis is averaging 25 points, five assists and 3.5 rebounds per game, which is good enough for him to place fifth among shooting guards on ESPN’s Player Rater. He’s taking a healthy 15.6 shots per game, and is really thriving in the pick-and-roll offense alongside Dirk Nowitzki. He’s been shooting the ball well, currently sporting a field goal percentage of .487 percent, and has been on the court a lot, seeing 34.5 minutes per game. He’s been great, but do you want to know the main reason behind his early success?
Anyone with a fully functional brain would understand that the closer you can get to the basket, the higher your percentage of scoring will be. Ellis is wasting no time driving to the rack, which has been beneficial to his success. According to NBA.com, Ellis has currently posted 47 drives to the hole, which is the second-most in basketball. He’s scored 42 points on those 47 drives, and is shooting 58.8 percent when he drives to the basket. Ellis is also averaging 11.8 drives per game, which is easily the most in the league. Because of his willingness to attack the paint, Ellis is also averaging eight free-throw attempts per game, which is awesome for his fantasy value. There is so much volume to like with Ellis right now, that it isn’t out of the question that he can finish as the top fantasy shooting guard, outside of Paul George and maybe James Harden. He’s currently seeing a healthy 72 offensive touches per game, and is averaging an impressive 0.35 points per touch. The Mavericks don’t have much offensive firepower in their backcourt, so Ellis should continue to see around at least 35 minutes per contest. Besides, despite continuing to age, Nowitzki continues to draw defensive attention, and point guard Jose Calderon continues to feed Ellis the ball, averaging almost seven assists per game.
Ellis’ attack-the-basket mentality will continue to do good from him, as well as fantasy owners. Barring an unfortunate injury, he should continue to be a very hot fantasy commodity. It’s also a good thing that the Mavericks defense has been struggling this season, allowing 106.2 points per game (5th-most). If Dallas continues to have to keep up with opposing offenses, Ellis will see massive volume.
Keep rolling with him, folks.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.