Monta Ellis, who is expected to be out another week with a sprained knee, has now missed five games for the Golden State Warriors this season, including the past three.
In those five games (two against the Kings and one each against the Lakers, Clippers and Suns), the Warriors have …
— Posted a 2-3 record, winning two of the last three.
— Averaged 111.0 points per game compared to their season average of 107.3.
— Averaged 12.8 turnovers per game compared to 15.7 for the season.
— Shot 45.8 percent from the floor compared to 47.0 for the season.
— Had four different leading scorers (Stephen Curry twice, Corey Maggette, Anthony Morrow and C.J. Watson), who averaged 30.6 points per game while replacing Ellis and his 26.2 points per game.
— Have scored 130 or more points twice.
— Have spread the ball and seemed to have more fun without the league’s sixth-leading scorer who takes 22.3 shots per game. “We play different, I don’t know if it’s better,”‘ Curry said in the Associated Press story. “We pass the ball, everybody is spreading the floor and the ball movement is always there. Last time we played at home we had the same kind of game. Monta is a great player. I guess when he’s out, everyone has to step up and move the ball for us to be successful.”
— Have become Curry’s team, following their fun and exciting leader who has averaged 23.7 points, 12.0 assists and 8.7 rebounds the past three games.
— Have played two bad teams in the last three games so the results are more than a little inflated.
It’s clearly not fair to say the Warriors are better without Ellis. But it’s also not out of the question to listen to trade offers, like the one reportedly made by Memphis for O.J. Mayo and some contracts.
It’s not likely that a move will be made in the final hours before the trade deadline, but the Warriors should at least listen. Curry can run this team and the relationship between Curry and Ellis isn’t likely to improve when Ellis returns and demands his shots and No. 1 status back.
As much as I’ve been singing Ellis’ praises this year, if a good deal develops that is a better compliment to Curry, the Warriors should seriously consider it. I’m beginning to think all those people who said Ellis was not an All-Star because anyone could score in the Warriors’ system might be right — hey, C.J. Watson went for 40 on Wednesday.Are the Warriors better without Monta Ellis?(poll)