Opening Tip: Can Ellis take off like Jet?

October, 29, 2013
10/29/13
9:00
AM CT
DALLAS -- Mark Cuban calls them “fallen angels,” players that arrive in Dallas with damaged reputations before thriving with the Mavericks.

Jason Terry might be the most notable example. The Mavs are optimistic that Monta Ellis will fall in the same category.

The similarities between Terry at the time he was dealt to Dallas for Antoine Walker and Ellis now are striking. They're a couple of volume-scoring combo guards with respectable scoring averages but ugly shooting percentages.

When Terry made his Dallas debut, he was a 27-year-old coming off a season in which he averaged 16.8 points and 5.4 assists while shooting 41.7 percent from the floor.

The 28-year-old Ellis is coming off a season in which he averaged 19.2 points and 6.0 assists while shooting 41.6 percent from the floor.

Terry, whose No. 31 should hang from the American Airlines Center rafters one day, benefited tremendously by forming a pick-and-pop partnership with Dirk Nowitzki. That’s a big part of the plan with Ellis, too.

Nowitzki, however, noted that Terry and Ellis have completely different styles.

“Jet was more a pop-up shooter,” Nowitzki said. “Monta is the best attacking the basket that I’ve probably ever played with. He’s so fast and explosive going to the rim, it’s fun to watch.”

The Mavs intend for Ellis to play almost solely shooting guard, much like Terry did for his last several years in Dallas. Terry initially played primarily point guard for the Mavs, which Nowitzki believes made the transition tough on Terry. He averaged 12.4 points in his first season in Dallas, by far his lowest scoring average of his eight-year tenure here, although he shot 50.1 percent from the floor that season.

“He was really more of a 2 to us, because when he had to run the show and then be a scorer and run pick-and-rolls, it was tough for him sometimes,” Nowitzki said. “He was best when he didn’t have to think much, get the ball in his hands, run one- or two-dribble pick-and-rolls or make a pass. That’s when Jet was at his best.

“I think we came a long way with Monta in these preseason games. We’ve been playing well off each other and I think it’s only going to get better.”

QUESTION: What should expectations be for Ellis' offensive production this season?

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Dirk Nowitzki
PTS AST STL MIN
21.7 2.7 0.9 32.9
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsS. Marion 6.5
AssistsM. Ellis 5.7
StealsM. Ellis 1.7
BlocksB. Wright 0.9