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Monta the Seventh Man

For the third time this season, Monta Ellis came off the bench, and the Warriors jumped out to a hot start, 13-4 lead. He sat out the entire first quarter as Nellie rode the starting five for 12 minutes, building a 40-25 lead. Nellie’s first sub was … Patrick O’Bryant. He started the second quarter with the starters sans Biedrins. Monta checked in with 9:49 left in the second quarter, replacing Baron.
What does this mean? 1. Nellie wanted some firepower off the bench. With Mickael Pietrus out, the Warriors have one less offensive weapon to bring in. So they need Monta coming off the bench; 2. Nellie is concerned about playing Baron too many minutes (and Ellis, for that matter), so he needs Monta to spell Baron, at least for the early part of the game, considering both will likely be in the game down the stretch; and/or 3. Nellie is getting more comfortable with Monta handling PG duties. So far, he’s been protecting Ellis by playing him alongside Baron, meaning the defense can’t key on Monta.

Marcus Thompson