What Monta Ellis' Injury Means for Golden State Warriors

Joe WillettSenior Writer IAugust 27, 2008

This article can also be found on Hoops4Life.com, a basketball fan's site.  I decided to post it here because, well, you all seem to like this kind of stuff.


Monta Ellis was the one piece that was going to come out and make all the Warriors fans forget about Baron Davis. In fact, he was Davis' replacement since he left for the Los Angeles Clippers and Steve Nash.

Ellis has been sidelined with a severe high ankle sprain.  It is reported that it will be a minimum of three months before he can successfully return to the basketball court.

Ellis received a big pay raise just a month ago. He went from making under $1 million a year to an average of $11 million a year over the next six years. This is one of the biggest pay raises in NBA history.

The Warriors had good reason to give him such a raise. He was the first player under the age of 23 to have at least 20 ppg and shoot 50 percent from the field since Kevin Johnson in the 1988-89 season.

Now, their only star at the beginning of the season is going to be Andris Biedrins, who will have a lot more trouble finding open looks without the high scoring of Ellis.

This will now allow teams to play bigger lineups, working to combat the ability of Biedrins inside, along with players like Ronnie Turiaf, Stephen Jackson, and Al Harrington. These players all possess great size to create matchup problems for opposing teams.

Now they will miss out on Ellis, who was the piece that was going to make teams respect quickness and play a more balanced defense instead of bringing out their big guys to guard the likes of Jackson and Co.

Ellis was selected in the second round of the 2005 draft because of questions about injuries he had received.

Since he made it to the NBA, he has been able to avoid serious injury.  He was also able to win the NBA's Most Improved Player Award in the 2006-07 season, awarded to the best up-and-coming player.

Ellis was considered part of the nucleus that was going to bring the Warriors to greatness (it was about time the Warriors did something) and remove all the bad memories.

As for the replacement, the Warriors already have that under control.

"Right now, we feel like we're going to let Marcus [Williams] handle the point," Chris Mullin, VP of basketball operations for the Warriors, said. "There will be a lot more discussion moving forward about that, but we feel like we'll come up with a lot of different scenarios between [coach Don Nelson] and I. The one thing we won't do is panic and do something just knee-jerk."

For now, this is a big loss for the Warriors, but Ellis does have a good history of coming back from scary events and making quick recoveries.  For Warriors fans, this is a necessity if they want to survive in the vaunted Western Conference.

I'm Joe W.


Joe also writes for TheDailyCub.com, a Chicago Cubs blog, and Hoops4life.com, a basketball fan's site.