The best player on the Warriors is Monta Ellis.
The most dynamic player on the Warriors is Anthony Randolph.
Forget that crazy hype you thought you knew about Randolph. He’s only playing 22 minutes a game. It’s not enough to gauge him against the best of the best, let alone be in the all-star game debate.
Now Ellis, that’s a killer right there. This season, he’s exploited defenses with his quickness and slashing ability for 26.4 points per game (sixth in the NBA), 5.4 assists, 2.3 steals (second in the NBA) and 4.2 rebounds.
I wouldn’t be surprised that with his numbers he gets an all-star nod. The best players of each team should be represented. But Ellis stands up well against the entire league for his effort to keep the struggling Warriors afloat. And if there was a season in which he deserved it more, it would be this one.
It’s not just about the numbers. But they do tell a vivid story of how Ellis makes the team both a winner and a loser in one swipe.
Ellis is consistently going in every game (42.2 minutes per game) and leading the Warriors’ offensive attack. How he plays and distributes the ball directly correlates with the club’s success. The Dubs are 7-14 when he hits for average or higher, a 33 percent winning percentage that’s more malleable than the team’s 30 percent winning percentage (12-27).
In games he doesn’t hit for average? 5-13, or 38 percent.
Now put your eyeballs on two of the biggest stats of successful ball clubs: Assists and steals.
The Warriors are 8-10 (44 percent winning percentage) when Ellis has six or more assists as the off guard; 4-17 (19 percent) when he has five or less.
When he gets three or more steals, the club is 9-7 (56 percent) and 3-20 (13 percent) when he has less.
(As you can see, the Warriors are in dire need of more defense. But who doesn’t know that?)
Bottom line is, Ellis has to be Super Man for the Warriors to win games because all he has for help is the scoring ability of Corey Maggette, Randolph’s 22 minutes and Stephen Curry. And none of those fellas are pulling his minutes, grabbing steals like him, or have the ability to put the ball in the bucket like he does.
Unfortunately, the Warriors’ team defense sucks, putting the team at the bottom of the Western Conference doldrums at 12-27, 19 games behind the conference-leading Lakers.
Put Ellis on a winner with better defense, say, the Cavaliers and he’s an instant star.
Will he be denied one of the NBA’s most sacred accolades? Probably. Should he be? No way.