9

Monta v. Thabo

So, the Oklahoma Thunder has a plan for guard Monta Ellis – Thabo Sefolosha.

Sefolosha has emerged as a defensive stopper for the Thunder. Because OKC has Durant and Westbrook and Green dominating the shots, Sefolosha can focus soley on defense. An athletic 6-foot-7, 215-pound swingman, he’s become pretty good on that end of the court.

He drew praise for his defense against Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade and Brandon Roy, . Bryant had 26 on 11-for-23 FGs. Wade had 22 on 6-for-19 FGs with six turnovers. Brandon Roy had 16 on 5-for-17 FGs.

If someone can contain Ellis, that would be a huge blow to the Warriors offense, because so much of it is focused on Ellis making plays. But this could work to the Warriors’ advantage.

Teams had begun doubling Ellis to take the ball out of Ellis hands. That caused some problems for the Warriors because it forced someone else to create. The Warriors don’t have anyone who can create offense consistently. Denver did it well, often bringing an athletic big man over to trap Ellis. The Warriors did well when Vlad went off in the first quarter. After that, no one else was able to step up.

But if Sefolosha is feeling himself, and the Thunder trust him to leave him on an island against, Ellis, the Warriors might prefer that better. It’s hard to believe anyone can guard Ellis one-on-one.

Ellis is averaging 28.9 points, 5.6 assists and 5.4 turnovers since Jackson was traded to Charlotte.

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UPDATE: MORROW DELAYED IN DETROIT. WON’T GET TO ARENA UNTIL SECOND QUARTER AT THE EARLIEST. STILL EXPECTED TO PLAY WHENEVER HE ARRIVES.

Guard Anthony Morrow was not at practice on Sunday evening. The team said he would join the team in Oklahoma City on Sunday. But plans changed, and Morrow was expected to arrive in Oklahoma City in the afternoon today. As of 1 p.m. CST, Morrow was in Detroit waiting on a connecting flight.

If he arrives, he is expected to play though he did not practice Sunday.

Marcus Thompson