“Nowellis” is what I dub Dallas Mavericks power forward Dirk Nowitzki and shooting guard Monta Ellis.
Inspired by celebrity couples who can be known by the combination of their names, I am merging the last names of these two Mavs as the new Dynamic Duo in the NBA preseason books, and hopefully beyond. You know, like “Beniffer” for Ben Affleck and his wife, Jennifer Garner? Or was that alias for him and his ex-girlfriend, J-Lo?
Anyway, aside from who I call the Tipoff Trio that also includes Nowitzki, along with small forward Shawn Marion, who set the pace against the Indiana Pacers last night, and guard/forward Vince Carter, who was an “inVince-able” force to be reckoned with in last Wednesday’s game against the Memphis Grizzles, this new “Nowellis” court combo has made matchups worth watching while meshing well together during the Mavs’ first four preseason games within a 10-day span.
Before becoming a member of the Mavericks’ ball club, Ellis played most recently for the Milwaukee Bucks and also was part of the Golden State Warriors, who eliminated Dallas from the first round of the NBA 2006-07 Playoffs, after the Mavericks finished their franchise-best regular season of 67 wins. Speaking of which, you can view more photos of Ellis and Nowitzki as opponents, including one of Dallas against Golden State, in my slideshow coverage of the latest episode of 1 on 1 with the Dallas Mavericks.
Now that these league veterans, Nowitzki (having spent his entire U.S. pro ball career with Dallas) and Ellis are playing on the same side, the PF and SG pair, well together on the floor. This second preseason week so far proves that.
Despite Dallas not winning at home when hosting the Orlando Magic on Monday, Nowitzki, who led scoring with a total 24 points, established an evident pick-and-roll connection with Ellis that resulted in 7-of-10 shooting to score 19 points during just the second quarter, according to ESPNDallas‘ stats. Ellis led in assists on the road in Indy on Wednesday, which is just an example of the emphasis that Nowitzki already placed on his new teammate when he called him “explosive” on Media Day.
Off the hardwood, perhaps new Mav Ellis could provide pointers to new dad Nowitzki, because the former has two kids. Maybe their basketball wives and children can have play dates that include rooting them on from the stands.
End zone note: “Nowellis” can be pronounced “No-ve-lis, like the word “novel” – which means “new” (a fitting term for this name) – with the “w” as a “v” sound in Nowitzki’s native German tongue, or how it is spelled, “Now-ellis” in the English language – to signify that the time for “Dirk” and “Monta Basketball” is now.