As Warrior fans we were heart broken and angry ever since we learned of Monta's injury that would ultimately cost him half the NBA season. We’ve seen the team go from 48 wins to being on pace for something in the 20s.
So how big of a role does Monta play in all of this? Will he truly make an impact? If he does what should we expect from the Warriors franchise player? Those are the questions many of us have so I’ll attempt to answer them.
First question is statistically how is this team doing compared to last seasons team?
STAT: current (last season)
Scoring margin: -4.9 (+2.2)
PPG: 107.4 (111.0)
Fastbreak: 17.1 (22.5)
Points in Paint: 43.9 (47.6)
eFG%: 49.1% (51.1%)
3 PT (m/a): 6.5/18.2 (9.3/26.6)
FT (m/a): 22.8/29.8 (18.8/24.9)
AST: 20.6 (22.4)
BLK: 6.5 (4.7)
STL: 8.0 (9.1)
TO: 14.6 (13.0)
REBD: 29.9 (30.4)
REBO: 12.5 (12.7)
Possession/Game: 102.3 (102.4)
Offensive Efficiency: 1.049 (1.084)
Defensive Efficiency: 1.097 (1.066)
So what’s do we make of all those stats?
The 08-09 Warriors compared to the 07-08 team is performing fairly similar to the BD and Monta led squad. The 08-09 edition plays at the same pace, rebounds about the same, shoots less 3 pointers, blocks more shots, and drives it to the lane more than last season’s 48 win squad. Compared to last year it has not put as many points as past teams in the paint, fast break, or total, has fewer assists, steals, and more TOs. Also the efficiency numbers are down too. However, aside from the scoring drop all the other stats are fairly close to last seasons and many people worried about assists dropping because of losing BD but we are averaging only 2 less assist per game, but that has improved since Crawford came aboard and Nelson instituted the motion offense. So assists is not a big issue.
Bottom line is the Warriors this season stack up fairly well statistically to the 48 win team that had BD AND MONTA. It can be pretty safe to assume that Crawford/Maggette/Bench Mob has filled in reasonably well for BD/Harrington/Ellis as the main rotation players. So we can get a fairly good reading of how Monta Ellis will impact the Warriors upon his return to his former self.
1) Fast break points
Before I looked up any numbers just from my observation one of the ingredients the Warriors are missing this year is fast break points. The lack of easy points in transition really kills the Warriors. How many times have we seen botched fast breaks? I couldn’t tell you how many times we have 2 on 1 or 3 on 2s that result in a horrible shot or a TO.
People may attribute that to the fact that we don’t have BD to run the floor but I think the bigger factor is we don’t have the 1 man fast break to turn an outlet pass into a quick and easy 2. Monta makes the fast break easy to run…. just get him the damn ball (I think we all agree even Maggette can do that if he’s willing).
Here are the numbers from 82games.com and teamrankings.com
Last season: 111.0
This season: 107.4
Fastbreak points scored:
Last season: 22.5 (1st)
This season: 17.1 (3rd)
Fastbreak points allowed:
Last season: 13.9 (27th)
This season: 15.7 (30th)
Shot Clock 0-10 seconds used:
Last season: 46.0 pts
This season: 41.7 pts
As you can see our overall points has dropped 3.6 ppg, our fast break points has dropped from 22.5 to 17.1 a whopping 5.3 pts per game less, and from 82games.com you can also see our points scored during the 1st 10 seconds of the shot clock has dropped 4.3 pts per game. Right now our point differential is -4.9 pts per game. So it seems that quick and easy fast break points are lacking.
So how does Monta fit in all of this? I couldn’t find fastbreak points per player so I used 82games 0-10 seconds as a barometer:
Monta Ellis - 58.9 eFG% (#3), 9.3 pts/game (#1)
Those were his numbers last year for 0-10 seconds and where he would rank if inserted into this years team. He would be #1 in 0-10 seconds points with 9.1/game and #3 in eFG% on those shots. Those are great but his true value shows when you look at them compared to the team now. While Crawford is #2 at 8.6 ppg his eFG% is only 49.6%!!! That’s nearly 10% less than Monta. Than you check out his FG% at #3 is nice but if you compare it to Wright and Biedrins, Monta nearly triples Wright (3.6 ppg) and almost doubles Biedrins (5.4 ppg) in output.
So we’re talking about inserting OUR FASTBREAK OFFENSE HERE! Monta scores in bulk and at such a high efficiency. So immediately expect the Warriors fast break numbers to increase and we’ll see less of those botched opportunities. Thank god.
Ellis connected on 53.1% of his FG while scoring 20 points per game. He’d rank behind Biedrins and Wright if you assumed he’d produce at the same clip and that is highly impressive given how many shots Monta Ellis gets. Anytime you add an efficient scorer to the team it should only help. Again, if we shoot more efficient we give up less rebounds and that should help our transition defense.
If Monta continues to rebound to last season’s average he’d rank #3 on our team behind Biedrins’ 12 and Maggs’ 6.1. Currently the team is averaging roughly the same amount of rebounds as last season so adding Monta will be a boost especially out of the PG/SG position. Getting 5 from there every night means less second chance points for the opponents and more fast break opportunities for the Dubs.
Last season Monta averaged 3.9 ast/game with BD dominating the ball. Even with that paltry average Monta would rank #3 behind S-Jax and Crawford this season. I don’t think it’s a stretch to assume without BD that those numbers should increase. Again Monta should only help the Warriors out and like I mentioned earlier ball movement isn’t a big deal IMO as others suggest now that we have the motion offense.
Right now his 1.5 stl per game from last season would rank as #1 on the Warriors just barely edging out Jackson. Another bonus to the team as more TOs means more opportunities to get out in transition.
Looking at the statistics Monta would shore up the Warriors' biggest deficiency and biggest difference from last years success: scoring. He’d also help the other categories that have experienced a drop off from last year such as squad such as rebs, ast, stls, and more importantly FG%. I mean just look at where Monta would rank on our team if he produced to his season averages from last season:
FG% #3, PTS #1, REBS #3, AST, #3, STL #1
People often think of Monta as just a scorer because he is an ELITE offensive force but he also helps the Warriors in other categories as well. Now, this doesn’t mean the Warriors will march into the playoffs this season (I doubt with Monta they can win 30 out of the next 39 games – unless they improve rebounding and defense – not Monta’s forte) or that Monta is going to produce at the level he did last year immediately, but there is hope Warrior fans.
All signs point to Monta having a successful recovery and that should give hope to Warrior fans for a competitive team for the remainder of this season due to addition of Monta, the shift from chucking 3 pointers to driving it to the rim, and the improved bench play (one of the benefits from the injuries). Next season it wouldn’t be hard to expect the Warriors to battle for playoff contention with the current roster (as flawed as it may be) because the stats seem to show the difference between a 48 win team and a 26 win team is a little Monta Magic.