NEWS OF THE MORNING
No. 1: Monta Ellis steals the show in Rajon Rondo’s debut — Rajon Rondo’s big night in a Dallas Mavericks uniform turned into a showcase and reminder that Monta Ellis has been and is the key to the season for the new-look Western Conference contender. Rondo was solid but hardly spectacular in his Dallas debut. Ellis, on the other hand, was off the charts. Tim McMahon of ESPNDallas.com sets the scene:
OK, one game certainly isn’t a big enough sample size to draw any grand conclusions, but the guard duo’s debut together was pretty encouraging, even though it came against the San Antonio Spurs’ junior varsity squad.
“He scored 38 points, so I didn’t hold him back too much,” Rondo said after the Mavs pulled out a 99-93 victory the day after he arrived in Dallas as the headliner in a blockbuster deal with theBoston Celtics. “We both like to dominate the ball, but I think we played well off each other tonight.”
There is ample statistical ammunition, traditional and advanced, for questioning how well Rondo and Ellis can co-exist offensively. Start with Rondo’s poor shooting percentages and the impact that has on the space Ellis will have to create on the pick-and-rolls that are the meat and potatoes of the Mavs’ magnificent offense.
You can dive deeper into the data to make the case, citing usage percentages and Synergy stats. Just make sure to include the basketball IQs of Rondo and Mavs coach Rick Carlisle in the conversation, too.
Geniuses tend to figure out how to put puzzles together pretty well.