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News » Ellis looks like he's ready to take charge

Ellis looks like he's ready to take charge

Ellis looks like he's ready to take chargeMonta Ellis doesn't need a "C" on the front of his jersey.

The Warriors guard wore the marks of a captain from his shoulders to his wrists by the time Friday's 108-94 win against Portland was complete.

Cuts and bruises showed through Ellis' heavily tattooed arms as he answered questions about the most complete game of his career and communicated his most comprehensive understanding of his role on the Warriors .

Very simply, he is everything to the Warriors .

How he plays is the prime barometer of how they will play. How he leads is the best indicator of where they'll go.

"With what I did on the defensive end, getting everybody involved and being out there leading players and making plays for others, you could say" this is his team, Ellis said after his 34-point, eight-assist, six-steal performance. "If people want to say it's my team, then it's my team, but I've got soldiers behind me who are ready to go with me."

That's the line the Warriors' brass has been waiting to read. Ellis has previously tried to do as he's been directed and become a more vocal leader, but those attempts have been squashed.

He was ripped for making a tactically sound point during training camp about playing alongside similar-sized Stephen Curry. He was ripped for showing up teammate Anthony Randolph, when Randolph didn't know an assignment. He was ripped for publicly arguing with his coach.

And he was ripped for refusing a bigger role when Stephen Jackson was shipped to Charlotte.

"Another guy has to step up to fill those shoes," Ellis said last week. "I'm not trying to put any more on my back. When somebody takes that role, we'll know."

We now know. That somebody is Ellis, in the end.

He appears and sounds ready to give it at least one more chance. On top of the obvious stats, he changed the Portland game with his energy and his guts.

"He's an All-Star, bottom line," Anthony Morrow said. "We had his back, but he really didn't need any help. He did everything, defensively and offensively."

The defense has been a question for the Warriors . The question got even more difficult to answer after the trade of Jackson, who often guarded opponents' best players.

"We've been emphasizing defense, and Jackson was one of the best defenders on the team," Ellis said last week. "Who is going to play defense now? We've got me. Who else?"

Four days later, Ellis decided he wasn't going to wait to see who responded to his call. Once he convinced the coaching staff that he didn't need double-team help against Portland's Brandon Roy, the Warriors outscored Portland 79-57 the rest of the way.

"I could do that day-in, day-out," Ellis said. "It means a lot to get an opportunity to play players of that caliber. They'll probably score on me every once in a while, but I guarantee you that I'll make them miss more shots than they make.

"My defense definitely gets overlooked. I hear people saying that I can't play defense and this and that. But if you look at all the tapes, I really don't get burned like people think I do."

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: November 22, 2009


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