Count Ellis’ role as a playmaker as one constant in those seasons.
The guard is many things when he’s on the court, and a share-the-rock model of efficiency is not one of them. You knew that, and efforts by Keith Smart and Mark Jackson to improve his defense didn’t have much of an effect (your turn, Scott Skiles). Trying to play well together with Stephen Curry had as many head-scratching moments as game-changing ones.
But enabled by the frenetic pace former coach Don Nelson preferred from 2006-10, Ellis thrived as a feared scorer who helped prove the recent trend that smaller guards don’t need to only be distributors to find success. He not only would put up points, but he had a habit of making opponents look bad in the process.
He’s eighth in scoring overall in the past four years at 22.6 per game, and his reputation as a gunner is well-earned after being sixth in field-goal attempts per game in that time (and yet measured by how often a team’s play is used by a player, called usage percentage, Ellis is 26th in that span). There’s no hiding it, the Warriors of the Ellis era were never great, going 233-298 in his time in Oakland.
The Bucks know all that going into this trade, which makes us want to watch the Ellis-Brandon Jennings experiment all the more. Here’s what else they know: They’re getting a guard whose top-10 reel is on par with nearly anyone’s in the league.
So now, let’s bring you Ellis’ top-10 highlights of his Golden State career.
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10. Ellis does what so many want to, which is get a block on Blake Griffin. After cheating on defense on his man from the free-throw line, he stalks Griffin on a baseline jumper before putting the ball into the seats.