Since Jason Terry left, the Mavericks have been trying to find someone to be a second scoring threat behind Dirk Nowitzki. Last season they thought O.J. Mayo could be that guy, now they’re hoping it its Monta Ellis. Having a reliable scoring threat behind Dirk takes some of the pressure off the franchise player.
For Ellis, it was a chance to establish himself in Dallas, one that he seized. Ellis scored 32 points and had 8 assists, 4 rebounds and two steals in his first game with the Mavericks.
“Monta is sensational in those pick and rolls looking aggressively to score,” said Nowitzki, via the Dallas Morning News. “If he doesn’t have it, he’s finding the open shooters and that was fantastic.”
“He’s shown he can make plays for other guys,” said Carter. “He’s really elevated his game. His passing game is tremendous. I’ve played against him for seven or eight years and, honestly, I haven’t seen him pass like this. He’s been getting guys easy shots as well as getting shots for [himself]. That’s going to be a key for us.”
While Ellis taking pressure off of Nowitzki might benefit the German, Ellis is benefitting from the relationship too.
“I’m grateful for somebody that can take the pressure off me, as well,” Ellis said.