When you're riding a five game losing streak, the leaders on the team are looked upon for answers. In the case of the Golden State Warriors, that would be Monta Ellis' distinction.
CSN Bay Area insider Matt Steinmetz asked Monta and coach Mark Jackson at practice Monday whether or not he needs to start "calling out" his teammates so to speak to get him some help amidst the W's recent five game slid. Neither men felt a detour from the team's plan would help at the moment.
Question: Sometimes players such as Kobe Bryant or LeBron James or Kevin Garnett will say something. Kobe will say to Andrew Bynum, for example, "I need more out of you." LeBron might say "You need to step it up." Have you ever done that or do you feel like that's the coach's role?
Monta Ellis: With us, we watch film, we bring points out on film. It's not me to criticize my teammates. They get away with it, they do what they do, that's LeBron and that's Kobe. That's how they deal with their team and their situation.
We deal with our team different over here. We're going to continue to do what we do. The guys that messed up or need to step up they know what they need to do and we go at it that way. I'll never bash my teammates in the paper, go at them sideways like that. I'm going to lift them up more than anything.
Question: Have you ever done it privately?
Monta Ellis: No.
Monta, as well as the rest of the team, are seeming to buy into what Jackson is selling, and Monta knows belittling his teammates won't do them much good. Working with his teammates to get better together is what is going to make progress with this squad, even if it looks like Monta is doing everything (which he basically is right now).
As for Coach Jackson, he also knows making demands of those around you won't necessarily get you won't you want:
Question: Would it be within Monta Ellis' domain or purview to demand his teammates - one or a couple of guys - to step up and give him some help?
Mark Jackson: They are. He's doing a great job. He's averaging 8.5 assists for a reason -- guys are finishing plays. They've done the job. We've put ourselves in position to win ballgames. Demanding guys step up is securing the basketball and getting stops, executing fastbreaks when you have numbers down the stretch, paying attention to details defensively to close out ballgames.
Yes, some individual players need to step up, but with a brand new coaching staff and an almost entirely new team, it's going to take time to get everyone on the same page. The teams succeeding in the NBA right now have continuity together, and have a lot of depth. The W's really have neither, and can make the best of it only if they do so together.
For more on the Warriors, head over to Golden State of Mind.