The Warriors will indeed be without guard Monta Ellis for tonight’s game againstPhiladelphia, according to team sources.
Ellis is still in Mississippi and will not make it back in time to play. The funeral for his grandmother, Mary Cole, was today. She died Christmas morning, at age 89, and Ellis played the first three games with a heavy heart, averaging 21 points on 41.4 percent shooting with 7.7 assists.
Ellis is going to stay with his family Saturday and rejoin the team Sunday, likely in Phoenix. The Warriors visit the Suns on Monday.
Golden State has a great opportunity tonight. To go 3-1 on a homestand that features three playoff teams from last season is the kind of start coach Mark Jackson needed. It didn’t look possible after that opening-night stinker against the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Warriors get a break in the schedule. Philly is concluding a back-to-back, losing a close one last night in Utah. Not only that, the Sixers haven’t been home yet. This is their fourth game on a five-game road trip to start the season. Not to say they will, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Golden State gets a sluggish Philadelphia squad prone for succumbing to a late run.
Warriors guard Monta Ellis was not at practice Friday. He was back in Mississippi tending to his grandmother’s funeral. Coach Mark Jackson said he is moving forward as if Ellis will not play Saturday against Philadelphia.
JACKSON: “Family is first. He lost a grandmother who he loves dearly, and we want him to take as much as possible, or as much time that he needs, to take care of home. … Obviously, its someone he loves dearly. It’s tough. As a family of team members and staff, we’re very supportive of him and we’re there for him and his family.”
A little over a week after a former Golden State Warriors official sued the team for sexual harassment and wrongful termination, SLAMonline has learned the Warriors have faced other allegations of sexual harassment since majority owner Joe Lacob completed his purchase of the team in November, 2010.
One of the accusers was previously the director of the team’s cheerleading squad, the Warrior Girls. She currently holds a similar position with a separate NBA franchise. Sources have also informed SLAMonline that at least two other former Warriors employees accusing the team of sexual harassment during Lacob’s ownership have settled their cases.
Gotta tip the cap to Monta Ellis. He went from awful to great faster than he can get down court. I don’t know what happened to turn it around for him, but suddenly he was unstoppable.
To post 12 points and 6 assists in the fourth quarter is special alone. To do it after struggling so mightily the first three quarters (4-for-17 shooting, two assists) showed some mental fortitude.
JACKSON: “I thought he really showed his toughness, his will and what a great player he is. Great players respond in the face of adversity. He puts us on his back and brought us home. People don?t want to talk about it, but he?s going through a lot. Losing a loved one is tough, but he?s been there for his team and still been as strong vocally. He hung in there and carried us to a victory.”