Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings, the Bucks’ backcourt last season, took a lot of deserved flack for taking bad shots.
After being signed-and-traded to the Pistons, Jennings said he had to take many bad shots to bail out Milwaukee’s limited offensive players. Whether that was true or not, Jennings can make it look true by changing his shot selection in Detroit. It’s a real opportunity for a fresh start.
Ellis is taking a slightly different approach.
Jeff Caplan of NBA.com:
I’m not sure whether Monta-ball is:
1. A new sport
2. This guy
3. A style of playing basketball that includes fearless shooting (and I mean that as both a positive and negative) and strong aversion to defensive effort
Let’s go with No. 3, which is somehow the most reasonable of the three options.
Technically, Ellis is right. Because NBA players are analyzed by so many perspectives, they’ll all get criticized by someone somewhere.
But some analysts are obviously more informed than others, making Ellis’ excuse a copout.
One of those analysts, Rick Carlisle, will even have a say Ellis’ playing time, and I suspect Carlisle won’t be thrilled with an “everyone does it” defense of bad shots.
The Mavericks have a chance to make the playoffs this season with Ellis starting at shooting guard, but it’s very possible his bad shots hold them back. If he can somehow find the shooting restraint he used six and seven years ago when he first burst on the scene, Dallas’ road would get much easier.
Yes, Ellis would still get criticized by observers who love his volume scoring, and that would undoubtedly be frustrating for him. But those in the know, like Carlisle, would be praising him, and shouldn’t that count much more?