Does he have the court vision and anticipation like a true point guard like Nash or Paul? No, what he does bring to the table as the Warriors point guard 1b is fear. Baron used to be the Warriors the other teams most feared; not anymore. Monta's acceleration is reminiscent of a young AI's crossover and quickness from the past. Teams fear Monta's blink of an eye speed and more impressively his ability to finish AT THE RIM. Monta initiating the offense produces the same results from a Nash/Paul led offense and here's why:
- Opposing teams have scouted and realized that stopping Monta on a fastbreak, severely minimizes the Warriors fastbreak. Stop Nash and it doesn't matter that the Suns have Amare, Shaq, and the others. Stop Paul and Chandler is a non-factor on offense and West's production can be written off.
- With opposing teams defensive strategy putting a priority in stopping Monta, more of the 5 defenders eyes are on Monta, allowing for other Warriors to float to open spots on the perimeter (around the 3 point arc really) or cuts closer to the basket. This is as close to a set play this season's Warriors are gonna come to a set play. We all have posted about the predictability of the Dubs half court offense. It's either 4 guys standing around the arc as Baron/Jax try to take their men 1-on-1, or Baron/Jax trying to get a screen and roll with Biedrins. The other western conference teams have already adjusted. Why not let Monta initiate a play at the top of the key as Biedrins set baseline screens for SJax/MP/Azubuike? With the current hand check rules, there are 2 or 3 players who can deny a Monta Ellis drive (Paul and Kobe come to mind) necessitating help from a secondary defender. This scenario would lead to AT LEAST one wide open Warrior along the corner or a diving Biedrins.
- The Warriors lack a low-post presence which allows us an outside-inside ball movement. However, Monta's unstoppable drives can provide the Warriors offense consistent drive and kick opportunities. The latest Laker game provided 2 examples: Monta drives got Turiaf out of the game in the first half. Baron decided to drive during crunch time which led to an open SJax for a three. Without a big that commands a double, the Warriors most consistent penetrator is our best option in a half court set.
- A TazMonta devil of a point guard would allow SJax and Baron to be more effective throughout the game and better rested for the 4th quarter.
- Monta drives lead to Monta step back jumpers. Not since, Allan Houston and Reggie Miller has a NBA player's midrange jumper been almost automatic. I would definitely take Monta's mid-range over Rip's right now. Rip needs screens; Monta needs to stop-n-pop.