Last summer, I wrote a series of articles on point guard play, personality and perceptual skills (the articles are included in Hard2Guard Player Development Newsletters, Volume 2). I wrote specifically about Golden State Warriors combo guard Monta Ellis.
Today, True Hoop linked to some video of Ellis’ working out:
Rather than play half-speed 1v1 games with his assistant coaches, Ellis needs to work on the mental game. Nobody doubts Ellis’ ability to score. However, I doubt his ability to play point guard in the NBA (although, Golden State is a system built for a combo guard).
As I wrote this summer, he has all the physical tools (quickness, speed) and technical skills (shooting, finishing and ball handling) to play the position, but he lacks the mindset – and, in my opinion, the personality. If I am correct, and personality affects position and skills, then Ellis is simply miscast as a point guard. However, if the point guard mindset is a learned skill, playing 1v1 is not the way to develop this skill. He needs to re-learn how to think the game and focus on the way he reads situations, two of the key components to Developing Basketball Intelligence (the articles this summer actually led to the writing of the book). Ellis should be watching tape to judge his decision-making in practice and to learn from other point guards.