If the rumors about not trading Monta Ellis are true, Mark Jackson must really feel that he can fix this back court situation. While I don’t know if I agree with that idea I don’t think it is totally impossible. I think you could fix two thirds of the back court situation.
Offensively the Warriors were a mess last season. I know they were one of the best scoring teams in the league. While the ultimate goal is to put the ball in the basket the Warriors had no cohesion on the court while both Ellis and Curry played together. In fact the Warriors numbers were actually better with Curry in and Monta out. Now there are a lot of extenuating circumstances that can lead to those numbers but there is no doubt that Curry is the better all around point guard of the two.
What I believe has lead to the Warriors sloppy offensive play is lack of coaching. Neither Don Nelson or Keith Smart ran an offense through one point guard. You would see a combination of Ellis and Curry switching back and forth bringing the ball up court. So they established that this team has no set point guard. It’s all part of that run and gun package Nelson brought to the Warriors. The other problem is when Ellis brought the ball up or just got his hands on it the offense just turned into a one on one spread offense. It’s easy to blame Ellis for that but really that has a lot to do with coaching. No NBA coach is going to let that go on all season unless he is calling that offensive set.
I think Mark Jackson might be smart enough to not only make Curry the point guard but also run an offense through the Warriors best scorer, Ellis, but not make them terrible isolation plays. So I personally agree that the offensive side of Ellis and Curry could be fixed.
When it comes to defense it will only be possible for Jackson to fix half the problem. The first half of the problem is effort. Curry and Ellis don’t give a 100% effort. They both would rather reach and go for the steal than move their feet and stop the offensive player from entering the lane. That is all coaching as well. Jackson needs to ingrain in their heads to keep the defender in front of them and not try to create turnovers all the time. Missed shots are just as good.
The real problem, that is not something that can be coached, is the two players size. Neither player can match up size wise with a real NBA shooting guard. If a shooting guard gets the ball on the block against Ellis or Curry they are always going to be able to go up and over them and back them down. No matter how hard you coach you can’t make either player grow a couple inches and get bigger bodies.
So even though most of the Warriors back court problems are solvable I don’t think you want to keep these two together. Especially if you can get something worthwhile for Ellis. Let him find a big point guard to play next to. Then with some good coaching I think Ellis can be a very important part to a playoff team.