Wednesday, November 17th, 2010 at 9:00 am  |  19 responses

Monta Ellis Unhappy With 4th Quarter Benching

by Marcel Mutoni / @marcel_mutoni

Things have gone well for the Golden State Warriors so far this season. Almost shockingly well, in fact.

The team seems to have bought into head coach Keith Smart’s system, and despite a rash of injuries to key players, the Warriors have managed to gain a very respectable 7-4 record to date.

The first sign of trouble for the team, however, showed up on Monday night during a win against the Pistons. Tayshaun Prince wasn’t the only guy mad at his coach that night; Monta Ellis was less than pleased with his playing time and let the media know about it.

Ellis, the League’s second leading scorer, was in foul trouble (and the Warriors had a comfortable lead) when Smart took him out for much of the fourth quarter. He was no amused after the game.

CSN reports:

Smart took Ellis out after committing his fifth foul early in the fourth quarter, and the Warriors up 92-78. When Ellis returned with under two minutes remaining, the lead was down to four. “I don’t like it,” Ellis responded, when asked about sitting much of the fourth quarter. “I don’t like it. At all.”

When Ellis was asked if it was tough for him to watch the Warriors lead dwindle, he said: “C’mon, man. It was very hard to watch. That’s what I do. I play basketball. That’s my love for the game. That’s what I do. In that situation, I do want to be in the game. We got a win. Move on.” As for Smart, he said afterward he would have handled the situation the same way. Ellis began the fourth quarter with four fouls, then picked up No. 5 when he fouled Ben Gordon with 8:37 left.

Happy or not, it doesn’t sound as though things will change for Monta Ellis should a similar situation come up.

It’s apparently Keith Smart’s show in Oakland, irrespective of his best player’s feelings.

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  • The Philosopher

    Monta Ellis is a MAN for that.
    We do not want him saying that he was glad sitting there watching the game.
    He wears his heart on his sleeve. One would rather have a guy you have to tame as opposed to a guy you have to rev up.
    He is a soldier.
    Keith Smart is a great coach.

  • sbaz

    Ellis is right, I saw the game and it was slipping quickly out of warriors hand, Monta should not have been on the bench for that long,he should have been back at the 6min mark.

  • kas

    so now Ellis is suddenly the warriors best player again, after everybody has been hyping Curry all summer and hating on Ellis?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    Maybe you shouldn’t commit 5 fouls then fool.

  • TrailBlazing&SportingLisbon

    cosign wayno

  • inco

    Coach smart handled it perfectly. As soon as Monta got his 5th foul I leaned over to my friend and said, “thats five. gotta pull him out so he doesn’t foul out.” I understand Monta didn’t want to be on the bench but Coach Smart did the right thing, and we still one so that is what it’s all about right?

  • http://twitter.com/HarryByrdMan44 LA Huey

    @kas, us Dubs fans knew what was up.
    I understand Monta’s frustration but co-sign Wayno

  • http://www.slam.com Martey

    In other words “Pulling me out is going to seriously affect my stats cuz I have a serious shot at the scoring title this year, what with Lebron and Wade cancelling each other out and all”

  • http://slamonline.com The Black Rick Kamla

    …..im sorry but Monta deserves better…the guy works hard, does stupid numbers nightly, and he’s had to sit the 3 or 4 kinda ‘changing of the guards’ since he’s been here, and its been obvious for the last 2-3 years he hasn’t been the focal point of this team. Stop playing with dude and trade him already….to Toronto….no that would just be mean

  • http://facebook.com/tronjohnson Chief

    I don’t know what he’s debating here. He was in foul trouble and he’s their best player. Of couse the coach waited till he needed a rested Ellis to finish it. Lebron get’s too many and now Ellis can’t get enough. It’s not like he went back into the game down by four.

  • http://slamonline.com tealish

    Martey’s got it.

  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com/ albie1kenobi

    he’s basically kobe-lite. he makes amazing shots, but he also is a ballhog and takes ridiculously low % shots that if they didn’t go in, you’d say “wtf was he thinking?” so glad curry is here as our point. no one else would get to touch the ball if warriors insist on “grooming” monta to be a PG.

  • jason

    smart’s smart

  • http://theurbangriot.com The Nupe

    No surprise he didn’t like being benched, but what else should he expect to happen with 5 fouls? Good decision by coach and they got the win. Maybe he could have went in a minute or two earlier, but that timing is arguable. He now needs to shut up, enjoy the win and learn to play better defense without fouling.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    Rose will be mvp. Go is beter then mia

  • T-Money

    Sure they are.

  • Brahsef

    co-sign Kas. ESPN still gives Curry all the love on highlights unless Monta goes off for 40 or so.

    I never understood why either, Monta’s one of the most excitin players in the league. Besides superstars he makes the most jaw droppin plays in the L

  • http://thephotoriot.com davidR

    guys, the issue he has is coming back into the game with only 2 minutes left. the pistons almost won that game. it’s obvious the warriors needed some help/something to change the momentum. 5 fouls or not, you cannot let your most potent player sit until only 2 minutes left, with the opposing team having all the momentum.

  • http://thephotoriot.com davidR

    albie, there’s nothing low % about shooting 51% as a guard. but i’ll agree that it’s good that monta is no longer forced to play pg. he’s waaay better when he only has to focus on scoring