Finding the Right Guy

by Kevin Kelly
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Keith Allison :: Flickr

Monta Ellis and Andre Iguodala have found perfect landing places

Why am I mentioning Monta Ellis and Andre Iguodala in the same sentence?

Well, there are a number of possible reasons I suppose.

You might guess that it could be because there were discussions between the Warriors and 76ers to swap the two players back in 2011, but that’s not it.

Then you might guess it could be because they’ve both scored over 10,000 points in their respective careers, but that isn’t it either.

Just when you are about to give up guessing you might say “Well they have both donned the Warriors uniform!” To which I would respond, “Warmer” and just like the golf gods always give you just enough hope to hit the ball one more time or play one more round, I’ve given you enough hope to guess again.

Finally you say, “They are both averaging over five assists per game to start this season.”

Now you’re on to something.

Monta Ellis and Andre Iguodala have seemingly found the right fit with their respective teams.

Ellis is tearing it up with the Dallas Mavericks, averaging just over 22 points per game and 5.5 assists per game. Iguodala is averaging over 14 points per game, over 5 assists per game, and over 4 rebounds per game for the Golden State Warriors.

No one can argue that Ellis has ever been in a better situation than the one he’s in now. He’s always been criticized for being a gunner and not distributing the ball well enough, but now he plays with Dirk Nowitzki, is encouraged to be himself, and has helped lead the Mavericks to a 7-4 record to start the year.

Ellis hasn’t scored below 18 points in the first 11 games of the season and as Nowitzki said after Monday night’s win, “We know we can rely on him for 20-plus every night.”

Not bad, Monta. Not bad at all.

Ellis has been known to be a polarizing figure with most people being against him, but now essentially every sane person would argue in his favor… That is, except fantasy players like myself who have to go up against him, but I’ll get to that later.

As for Iguodala, he has been referred to as the “glue guy” for the Warriors by just about everyone at this point and he has certainly earned the title. He does all the little things that coaches everywhere love.

However, he has also shown he can do more than just the little things. Last week he hit a huge game winning buzzer-beater against the Thunder, and it showed that he can do a lot more than just hold things together.

If you aren’t sold on Iguodala’s presence on a team making an absolutely massive difference, look at the Denver Nuggets. They lost Iguodala in the offseason and haven’t exactly had a stellar start to the year at 4-6 so far. He started 80 games for the Nuggets last season and helped lead them to a franchise record 57 wins and the third seed in the West.

Granted, the Nuggets did lose to none other than the Warriors in the first round of the playoffs, but the Warriors even gave the eventual Western Conference Champion Spurs BIG problems.

Finally, let’s not overlook fantasy basketball. According to the ESPN Player Rater, Iguodala is ranked 12th going into Tuesday night’s games and Ellis is ranked 20th.

Not too shabby. Especially for Iguodala, who is supposedly not expected to fill stat sheets.

If anyone has missed out on watching Iguodala and Ellis play on their new teams, treat yourself on Wednesday night as the Warriors take on the Grizzlies and the Mavericks take on the Rockets. You won’t be disappointed.

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