Still, Ellis can score a ton…
You don’t rank among the league’s top-10 scorers for two straight seasons on accident. In 144 games since 2009/10, Ellis has scored 30-plus points 45 times. That’s roughly three times every ten games.
As a team, the Magic have 25 such games in the same span. Wing players account for only four of them.
... but some factors artificially inflate Ellis’ stats
Ellis has led the league in minutes per game since 2009/10, which gives him extra opportunities to boost his per-game scoring
Further, the Warriors play at a frenetic pace, leading the league with a whopping 100.4 possessions per game in 2009/10 before dialing it down to 94.8 last season. That was still the fifth-highest figure in the league. He plays a ton of minutes on a ludicrously fast team, giving him hundreds more possessions to use over the course of a full season than a player on a slower team would. And the Magic are not a fast team.
As Evan pointed out in his analysis of Ellis, Monta likes to take long two-pointers, long considered the most inefficient shot in the game. Throughout his career he has consistently averaged more two-pointers from 16-23 feet than any other shot. Last year, Ellis took 6.6 shots from 16-23 feet per game compared to 5.2 shots per game at the rim.
Assumedly, Ellis might be more efficient offensively with a better supporting cast around him. And even though Ellis has never been known for anything on the defensive end, Stan Van Gundy and Dwight Howard have a way of turning poor defenders into pretty good-looking ones.
He’s unpredictable. He’s painfully unfiltered. He’s out of control.
But he’s being himself.
And despite the distasteful material he sometimes expresses to the world, that’s exactly what’s best for Arenas as he tries to find success in Orlando and win back fans who have wavered since his glory days in Washington.
“That’s who I am,” Arenas told the Orlando Sentinel. “I’m a comedian and a basketball player.”
There seems to be this notion that the Magic absolutely have to have at least two superstars to compete for a championship. Ever since the Magic were ousted by the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the playoffs, the common refrain has been that general manager Otis Smith must pair Dwight with Chris Paul or some other franchise player or the Magic are done.
Dallas has blown holes in this doomsday scenario. Many of us nattering nabobs of negativity have noted that the Magic are regressing as a franchise after making it to the Finals two years ago and losing in the first round this year. Well, guess what? Dallas lost in the Finals in 2006 and then got bounced in the first round three of the next four seasons.
The OrlandoMagic.com staff puts out a first round mock draft – they also make a prediction for the 53rd pick, which is Orlando’s only selection. Click here to see that. They also look at the best second round picks here.
(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, ESPN 1080’s Magic Insider (http://espn1080.com) and is the co-host of the ESPN1080.com Insiders Show Sunday mornings at 10:00 am EST. Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here).