Steinmetz: Early Returns on Ellis


Steinmetz: Early Returns on Ellis

Matt Steinmetz

OAKLAND -- There's a lot of skepticism when it comes to Monta Ellis, and whether he can maintain his positive outlook and attitude for the rest of the season.

Look, there's no doubt Ellis is a different person than he was a year ago. The question is: Can he keep it up?

Well, after Ellis equaled a career high with 46 points to lead the Warriors to a season-opening 132-128 win against the Rockets, his coach thinks he will.

"This young man has made a complete turnaround in his life," Warriors coach Keith Smart said. "And once your life is in order things start to work perfectly for you. His relationship (marriage) and his life are in great order, and the guy has been ready to play since the summer, working out with (assistant) coach (Steven) Silas in Memphis."

After a disappointing 2009-10, one in which the Warriors won only 26 games, Ellis showed up early to training camp and re-integrated himself with the team. Last season Ellis seemed distant, almost on the periphery -- even though he was putting up big numbers.

There was also plenty of discussion a year ago about whose team this was -- Stephen Curry's or Monta Ellis'. Well, there's no doubt right now that if Ellis is engaged and focused, the Warriors are Ellis' team.

And why not? He's the Warriors' best player.

Ellis started Wednesday's game hot and never did cool off. He had 17 points in the first quarter, 27 points at the half, and wound up an astonishing 18-for-24 game from the field.

"It's easy to play when you're not worrying about anything," Ellis said afterward, acknowledging that his life off the court has made being on the court more enjoyable.

"I'm just happy we got the win," Ellis said. "It was just one of those games where shots were going in early and then they just kept falling."

Said Houston coach Rick Adelman: "We did not shut off his drives and he was able to get to the basket. We kept him off the free-throw line for the most part until the end of the game when we fouled him. But he had a great effort. It seemed like he made every shot."

Not quite, but Ellis' performance on Wednesday was pretty impressive. Come to think of it, Ellis has been pretty impressive since Day 1. And all signs point to him being able to keep it up.

With Warriors discussing the matter, Curry reaffirms White House stance

With Warriors discussing the matter, Curry reaffirms White House stance

OAKLAND -- About an hour after general manager Bob Myers said the defending champion Warriors would soon gather to determine their response to any potential invitation from the White House, Stephen Curry reiterated his personal views.

“I don’t want to go,” Curry said during Media Day on Friday.

Curry has previously stated this position, one he shares with several teammates. Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala also have expressed no interest in visiting President Donald Trump. David West has made clear his distaste for Trump’s boorish conduct.

But Curry has thought not only about the subject but also how he reached his conclusion.

“That we don't stand for basically what our president has -- the things that he said and the things that he hasn't said in the right terms -- that we won't stand for it,” he said. “And by acting and not going, hopefully that will inspire some change when it comes to what we tolerate in this country and what is accepted and what we turn a blind eye to.

“It's not just the act of not going. There are things you have to do on the back end to actually push that message into motion. You can talk about all the different personalities that have said things and done things, from (Colin) Kaepernick to what happened to (Michael) Bennett to all sorts of examples of what has gone on in our country that we need to kind of change. And we all are trying to do what we can, using our platforms, using our opportunities to shed light on that.”

Officially, the Warriors have made no firm decision. They will discuss the matter in the coming day in hopes of reaching a consensus.

Though Curry understands the final decision will be made every consulting with every voice in the locker room -- including coach Steve Kerr, who also has been critical of Trump -- he’s unwavering about his personal stance.

“It's not just me going to the White House. If it were, this would be a pretty short conversation,” he said.

“Like I said, it's the organization; it's the team. And it's hard to say because I don't know exactly what we're going to do in lieu of or if we do go or if we don't go or whatever.

“But my beliefs stay the same. I'll have a better answer for that once I can kind of understand where the group is, too.”

While Iguodala passed on delivering his stance, citing that he had been prepped on the subject by the team’s media relations staff, Durant -- like Curry -- said he has to take the opinions of his teammates into consideration.

“It's going to be tough to change my mind,” Durant said, “but we're going to talk about it as a team and figure out the next steps from there.”

West did not divulge his decision, opting to firmly state he “will let everybody know my opinion” once the team meets on the subject.


Thunder GM takes high road in response to Durant's Twitter gaffe, harsh words

Thunder GM takes high road in response to Durant's Twitter gaffe, harsh words


Kevin Durant didn't mean to lampoon the Thunder, later deleting the tweets, but he said what he said

Asked about Durant on Friday and Thunder GM Sam Prestie took the high road. 

"I think the only thing I can say to that is just to be consistent with everything that I have said and everyone else from the organization," Presti said. "I, and no one from the Thunder, really has anything negative to say about Kevin Durant, and I think we've been hopefully very open about the fact that we have tremendous appreciation and respect for what he and his teammates and coaches and everybody over his tenure here accomplished, and I really don't think there's anything more to say than that."

Durant called the actions "childish" and "idiotic" and said that his actions have impacted his sleep cycles and eating habits.

The Warriors first face the Thunder on Wednesday, Nov. 22 in Oklahoma City.