Yesterday, CSN Bay Area columnist/reporter Matt Steinmetz, posted a column with the premise that Monta Ellis is a proven NBA defender. To which I say, boloney.
I’m regurgitating some comments I have already posted on GSoM, but wanted to just add this to my blog as I feel strongly about certain evidence out there that suggests Monta Ellis is not a good defender. I don’t want to construe this as “hate,” but rather some facts I feel are important when discussing this player.
I’m a fan of Monta Ellis, but I’m a bigger fan of the Golden State Warriors and I don’t feel guilty about pointing out what’s wrong with the team or what can improve.
In his column, Steinmetz is ignoring that Ellis’ failures on defense are more abundant than his successes.
Like it’s easy to point to Ellis’ highlights on offense and volume of points, it’s easy to point to highlights of his defense such as games guarding Brandon Roy, Kobe Bryant, Derrick Rose, and Kevin Durant. But that’s just a handful, not “stretches during his career.”
Yes, Monta Ellis was asked to be a pest on defense early in his career—actually, I think just his first year in the league—because that was the only role that was allowed.
According to SBN writer, “Evanz,” using Synergy data, Ellis is a worse defensive player in almost every category compared to Curry.
So, Monta is worse on offense and worse on defense, as certain evidence shows.
What gives, Steinmetz? I want to give you the benefit of the doubt and say you’re just being a contrarian for the sake of garnering some web hits for CSN Bay Area.
Someone on GSoM argued that shooting guards are harder to defend than point guards. To which I replied:
Evanz’ research suggests that, at least on pick-n-roll situations, Ellis guarded the PG quite a bit, probably on switches when the roll/slip was executed. And, the team did quite well. But that’s just one situation where having a SG in a PG’s body works out.
When you’re perpetually undersized and form bad habits to try to make-up for that, you’ll have a harder time guarding your position; and Ellis’ position was clearly defined as SG, at least on paper. Most of us believe Ellis would do much better playing alongside a bigger guard (like Baron Davis), but the Warriors don’t have that luxury and it would be foolish to try to accommodate because I just don’t see many big PG’s out there that can help hide Ellis’ deficiencies.
Which brings up the point, do you then to keep the player that’s younger, cheaper (for now), plays a tougher position better, and can score much more efficiently or do you keep the other player that’s none of the above?