The return of Monta Ellis: How much difference can he make?

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 10:42 am
I know you’re just dying to hear this… or NOT… but Ellis’ agent Jeff Fried tonight said that the Warriors continue to maintain that they have the indefinite right to void Ellis’ $66M deal, despite Fried’s protests. Fried has filed a formal letter of complaint over the issue, in addition to the previous all-encompassing grievance.

This standoff is not over, though Ellis is determined to make his comeback tomorrow night, with or without Warriors’ management contemplating a potential voiding.


Spent most of the afternoon chatting with the A’s folks–Bob Geren, Billy Beane, Matt Holliday (via Cohn Zone), Dave Forst, etc.–at a winter media availability…

So of course once I got into my car I heard that Monta Ellis is making his return to action tomorrow against Cleveland.

According to the Chron’s Janny Hu, the Warriors announced the Ellis news via their website, which is a little odd, but a lot of things are odd about the Warriors these days. I guess the only time Don Nelson will comment on Ellis will be on his radio show this evening.

None of those pesky nincompoops (like me) to bug him on this one.

Anyway, Ellis will be back. His agent Jeff Fried met with the Warriors Monday to go over the void/no-void, suspension issues… and Fried was out of town by Tuesday or Wednesday, so you know the discussions must’ve gone very well.

Makes for a very entertaining game, with LeBron and all, and it sure does change the topic from last night’s not-so-exciting loss to Oklahoma City, doesn’t it?

Some things to contemplate heading into Ellis’ debut:

* Ellis comes back at an excellent time for the Warriors’ morale and ticket-purchasing potential, but surely not with enough time to save the season.

-They’re 13-30, which means Ellis missed just over half the season. He’ll certainly have to find his way back gradually, but it’ll be fascinating to see what the Warriors’ record is in the final 39 games.

-Those season-ticket renewals are coming up in a few months.

* How will Nelson split up the backcourt minutes? For the first few games, it probably won’t be too tough–with Ellis probably looking at no more than 20 minutes per and with Marco Belinelli still out…

But once Ellis is ready to go for 30 minutes or more, and once Belinelli is back:

You’ve got Jamal Crawford and Ellis as your probable starting backcourt. Gotta figure 35 minutes per for both of those guys. I’ve been intrigued by that potential backcourt for a long time, so you know I want to see it in action, finally.


But you’ve also got Belinelli and C.J. Watson as credible back-ups, with some Anthony Morrow time, too.

You’ve got Stephen Jackson who has been playing off-guard but can switch to small forward. But he is going to play 40+ minutes, you just know he is, wherever it is, probably mostly at the 3.

Yet that’s where Corey Maggette should play. And Kelenna Azubuike’s there, too. And Anthony Randolph.

Hmm.

* Who’s going to play perimeter defense? No idea on that one. Other than SJax, who probably has to guard the good wings (like he guarded Durant last night in key periods), who stops penetration and helps shut down the screen-roll?

* Will Monta be 80% of what he was? 90%? 99%? As has been said and repeated, so much of his game was predicated on explosion, usually off of that left ankle.

Other than Iverson, nobody Ellis’ size could leverage himself in the air, stay up that long, and still find a way to put the ball in the hoop… Last year, that is.

* What happens when Monta is ready to go 40 minutes per–but Nelson shuffles through other rotations, in order to keep Ellis from going too fast too soon or maybe just to keep another combination (say, Crawford-SJax-Azubuike) out on the floor at crunch time?

TIM KAWAKAMI


http://blogs.mercurynews.com/kawakami/2 ... n-he-make/
Wish List

*New Owner and Management =D>
*Trade Monta
*Trade Maggette =D>
*Tank the season, get the top pick and draft Harrison Barnes
to be continued...

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