Monta's Return to 2007/8 Form is Dependent on Stephen Curry

I realize Monta has been discussed to death on GSoM.  Personally I'm tired of how much heat he's getting.  I'm not saying I want him here long term or him and Curry is an ideal combo, but I do think trading him now, would be a huge mistake, if only because his talent is so much higher than his perception around the league.


I've held the assertion, Monta playing off the ball, slashing, being a SG is best way to maximize his skills.  And that is to say, when he had a true PG who could set him up, he finishes better than about any guard in the league.  


I decided to check some numbers on hoopdata (thanks dso for turning me onto this site) and what I found was shocking.

Comparing 2007/8 season to 2009/10 with league average (for 2009/10) in third column (note 3pt % is eFG%)

                 2007/8         2009/10       League Avg.

At Rim       66%              61.2%            61.1%

>10 ft.        51%              43.9%            44.2%

10-15 ft.    50%              38.7%             39.9%

16-23 ft.    44%                 37%            39.7%

3pter         34.7%            50.7%           53.4%


Some observations:

Clearly he's improved his 3 point shot which was nonexistent in 2007/8 and now is near passable.  He still finishes at the rim at league average but more importantly at a much higher rate than guards (as you'll find that stat is largely inflated by big men who are 65-70% and above with dunks).  He still shoots his mid ranger at a decent percentage, just not as impressive as before when he was elite at it compared to rest of league.

Now where it gets interesting is, look at percentage of FGs assists in those two years compared to league average.


FG Assists %

                  2007/8           2009/10       League Avg.

At Rim       48.8%              35.4%            51.7%

>10 ft.        39.7%              24.5%            39.3%

10-15 ft.    34.9%              20.9%             40%

16-23 ft.    43.5%             31.9%               57%

3pter         91.7%             67.5%              84.5%


The most glaring one for me is the mid-range game where Monta used to be deadly, is now slightly below average, and consiquently, he is getting assists on only near half those fg's compared to 2 years ago and the league average.  Clearly early in year Monta handled ball too much.  I also think, later in year it became evident he needed to play SG and let Curry run the show.    

Perhaps if Monta plays permanently off the ball and Curry continues his improvement as a PG and can set him up more, we'l see the Monta we all fell in love with, and the guy who earned a $66million contract.

I for one would love to see it as I'm tired of seeing players we fall in love with, be traded away for below value and go on to do well again.

This FanPost is a submission from a member of the mighty Golden State of Mind community. While we're all here to throw up that W, these words do not necessarily reflect the views of the GSoM Crew. Still, chances are the preceding post is Unstoppable Baby!

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