â†µThe NBA season is very long. The beginning doesn't matter much. Don Nelson is a psycho genius who can turn any mismatched batch of talent into a viable team. These are the reasons why Golden State fans need not despair at the news that Monta Ellis is out for three months. He's the future of the franchise, its number one option and presumptive playmaker, and one of the league's most exciting young performers. But three months on the shelf won't make a difference. Right? â†µ
â†µSadly, no. Ordinarily, missing training camp and the first month of play wouldn't be an insurmountable setback. But, to steal a phrase from this political season, the Golden State Warriors, and Monta Ellis, are at a crossroads. Ellis is expected to make the transition from combo guard to someone comfortable, and reliable, at the point. While no one's expecting it to happen overnight, certainly some preparation and dry runs in pre-season would help him (and the team) figure out his new role. You could even say the same thing about the early going of 2008-09 when nothing's really on the line, and Monta can afford to learn on the job. â†µâ†µ
â†µWhile Nellie has dome some weird things with roles and position, he almost always has a strong point guard. Think Baron Davis, or before him, Steve Nash and Tim Hardaway. The man may be a revolutionary thinker, but he needs Ellis to come along for this team to be worth taking seriously, especially since the Warriors' only PG depth comes in the form of Nets cast-off Marcus Williams, D-League alumni C.J. Watson, and, of course, 19 year-old rookie PG/SF/PF Anthony Randolph. So now, instead of gambling on Ellis, Nelson instead has to make due with this motley crew—and wait to see if Monta Ellis can become the guard he needs. â†µ
This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.