Ellis turnovers down with less time at the point
AUBURN HILLS, MICH. — Warriors guard Monta Ellis played all 48 minutes of Saturday's 104-95 loss to the Detroit Pistons, finishing with one turnover — and that one was questionable.
Ellis entered the game with a league-high 4.5 turnovers per game. In the nine games he played 45 minutes or more, that number jumped to 5.8 per game.
But a little tweak has helped Ellis cut down on the miscues. The Warriors have been using guard C.J. Watson and Stephen Curry as point guards more, moving Ellis over to shooting guard or small forward.
Plus, Ellis is getting the ball on the "weak side" — the opposite part of the court from where the play begins — more often. That leaves him attacking against a shifting defense instead of one that is set and waiting for him as he does his thing from the top.
"As opposed to being the point of attack for the defense," assistant coach Keith Smart said, "now he's getting it when the defense has to move and rotate. (ellipses) Anytime the ball moves three times in the NBA, the percentage goes up. So I think that's what he's good at."
As a result, Ellis has four turnovers total in his last two games (he's had at least four turnovers 14 times this season). He's also went the entire game without a turnover. But with four-plus minutes left, Ellis was pushing the ball down the court and collided with a couple Pistons defenders. No foul was called and the Pistons wound up with a fast-break basket on the other end.
It was the fourth time Ellis finished a game with one turnover. The last coming in 32 minutes in a loss at Milwaukee on Nov. 14.
The 18 minutes he played Saturday was the fewest he's played all season.
— MARCUS THOMPSON II