During the offseason, the Dallas Mavericks made no excuse for trying to get big man Dwight Howard. When that fell through, however, they turned to a legitimate scoring option in shooting guard Monta Ellis. Ellis has been picked apart in the Dallas media for his poor shot selections in the past. He described it on Media Day as playing “Monta ball” — whatever that means.
On opening night against the Atlanta Hawks, though, Ellis showed the Dallas media and the fan base what they can possibly expect this season, and several seasons down the road. Monta shined in his Mavericks debut as he scored 32 points on 11-of-17 shooting in just under 37 minutes.
This 32 points is something remarkable because it shows the future of the Mavericks. For a long time, Dallas has been led by superstar Dirk Nowtizki in scoring. Dirk, however, is entering his 16th season in the NBA and it’s time for someone else in the Mavericks organization to step up and taking on the scoring role. This is where Monta could come in.
Monta brings another element of offense to Dallas. Not only can he can score, but he can dish the ball as well. Perhaps the more surprising stat from opening night is the fact that he had eight assists to go along with his 32 points. The ability to recognize the double-team and dish the ball to the open player is huge for this team.
Not only was he able to do that, but Ellis was also creating his own jump shots on the floor. If he continues to do that and Dirk can help spread the floor, this could be a lethal combination for the Mavericks.