Last night, Golden State’s Monta Ellis continued his torrid opening season stretch by posting 39 points, eight assists and nine rebounds in the Warriors’ 115-109 victory over Memphis. He scored 17 of his teams final 21 points, exploding and elbowing his way onto the start-of-season landscape that seemed solely reserved for Kevin Durant, LeBron, D-Wade, Kobe, Dwight Howard, Rajon Rondo and the phenomenal rookies John Wall and Blake Griffin.
Fans in the Bay Area have more than the World Series Champion Giants to feel good about, as the Warriors, under first year Head Coach Keith Smart, have the most exciting, young backcourt scoring combo in the league with Ellis and Stephen Curry.
(Yo Keith, I’m still a little salty about that stellar performance in the ‘87 National Title game where you took out my Syracuse team with Derrick Coleman and Sherman Douglass! But i’ll let bygones be bygones.)
Monta opened the year with a 46-point gem against Houston where he missed only six of 24 shots. Only one man had better opening nights for the Warriors, and that was Big Wilt who dropped 48 in 1961 and 56 in 1962.
With his sniper-like ability from deep, upper-tier speed and fearlessness attacking the basket, Ellis is approaching the super-duper star status that many saw possible after his ridiculous high school exploits in Mississippi. For any opposing defense, “Ain’t No Sunshine When He’s On!”
I was extremely disappointed when David Lee left New York in the Anthony Randolph swap, as his hustle, determination and ability to get boards and buckets in a supporting role were one of the lone rays of sunshine in the dismal Knickerbocker rebuilding process.
But seeing what he can add to the Warriors mix, evidenced by Steph Curry’s 25 points and 11 assists and Lee’s 17 points, 15 boards and six dimes on opening night, I can’t help but be excited about what they’ve got brewing .
I know it’s only a few games into the year, but Monta is scorching out of the gate, hitting 55% from the field and averaging 30 points, four rebounds, six assists and two steals per game. After his 46-point opening-night destruction of the Rockets, (which reminded me of Floyd Mayweather’s surreal beat-down of Arturo Gatti), he handed out 11 assists in his next game which helped the Warriors get off to their first 2-0 start in 16 years.
With Curry, Lee and Dorrell Wright coming into his own, the Warriors will be worth the price of admission, even if Ellis rains on your team’s parade.
You gotta love this kid’s energy and essence. Right now, he’s the fastest, most dangerous offensive weapon in the league who can also pass and play a full floor-game.
Pay attention Mr.’s James, Wade, Rondo, Howard, Durant and Bryant. Someone’s knocking at the door.