Monta Ellis made headlines when he decided to sign with the Dallas Mavericks this offseason. Many fans were beginning to wonder if any big-name player would ever sign with Dallas after missing out on LeBron James, Chris Paul and, most recently, Dwight Howard. And while he’s not the grand slam they were hoping for, Ellis was still one of the top free agents available this year.
Ellis’ explosiveness and scoring ability has never been questioned, as he is widely known as one of the fastest and most athletic players in the NBA, and has a career average of 19.4 points per game.
The facet of his game that has come under some scrutiny, however, is his efficiency in scoring so many points. His career field-goal percentage is a decent 45.6 percent, but it has been declining since his last year with the Golden State Warriors, when he shot just 43.3 percent. It dropped all the way down to a very low 41.6 percent last year with the Milwaukee Bucks.
There are plenty of reasons to hope that Ellis can get his scoring back on track. During the 2009-10 season, he scored 25.6 points per game, which could definitely help the Mavericks. But with Dirk Nowitzki leading the offense, they may not need quite that much scoring from him. Much more importantly, in 2007-08, Ellis was able to score an only slightly less impressive 20.2 points per game, but shot at a 53.1 percent clip.
At the Mavericks Media Day, Ellis was asked if he would try to change his game at all in order to be more efficient. He said he was going to continue to play “Monta basketball,” and critics can continue to criticize him, if they so choose. This nonchalance is a bit disconcerting, but he does go on to say that he’s very excited to play not only with Dirk, but also with Jose Calderon, who Ellis says is the first pass-first point guard he’s played with since Baron Davis on the Warriors in 2007.
Whatever Monta Basketball is, the Mavericks will need it to be more efficient than what Ellis has been playing lately.