Against New York it was Ish Smith. He did good (11 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals) but he was later waived and he signed with the Orlando Magic. He played for 29 minutes and Charles Jenkins filled in for 4 minutes. Some of the PG minutes in this game were probably played by Monta as Nate Robinson was not picked up yet.
Against Utah it was Charles Jenkins. He only played 9 minutes as Nate Robinson got his spot by playing good and helping them make the comeback. I'm sure that Monta logged some minutes as PG in this game though since Jenkins and Robinson combined for 36 minutes (9+27 respectively) and I doubt that Klay Thompson (played 22 minutes) played PG. By the way, Monta threw a bad pass 17 seconds before the end of the game (it was tied 87-87), Hayward was fouled on the fast break, he split his free throws to give Jazz a 1 point lead and then Monta missed on the buzzer resulting in a Jazz victory.
Against Miami it was again Charles Jenkins starting again (he played 10 minutes). Nate Robinson filled in for 36 minutes as well. The Warriors won, as we all know, mainly because the Heat were horrible at the free line (whereas Nate Robinson, who led the Warriors in scoring with 24, had 14/14 FTs).
Against Detroit it was Charles Jenkins again. This time he played 28 minutes and Nate Robinson played 19.
Against the Nets Charles Jenkins started as well. He only played 11 minutes and Nate Robinson filled in for 26. Apparently, Monta played some PG during that game as well.
What all this say to us? That the Warriors prefer to start Charles Jenkins or Ish Smith (a player who they later waived as they considered themselves covered after signing Nate Robinson) over playing Monta at PG and starting Klay Thompson or Brandon Rush at SG. So, what's the conclusion? They don't view him as a PG. And that's fine. Cause he is NOT a PG. So, why do people expect him to be the PG of our future?
As for the assists part. Good scorers command double team. If you can pass out of a double team you're most likely passing to an open man who has an easy to shot. He'll probably make this shot so you got yourself an assist. That's the reason that Kobe had season in which he averaged 6 assists (04-05) and that his assist average is at 4.7 per game. It's not that he is a willing passer or that he could run the point. Hell, it's not that he likes to share the ball either. He just just is such a dominant scorer that commands double teams and can pass it out of it. Thus, he gets assists. That does not mean that either of them would be best at running them. Could they do it? Yeah, probably. But it would not be what they naturally do nor would it be in the best interests of their teams.
Another point about the assists. The Warriors are a shot happy team. When they take the ball in a good spot, they shoot the ball right away. This results in 2 things. A higher number of 3 point shots taken and a higher number of assists. On the other hand, we are not shooting it the moment we get the ball. We often try to create a better shot and take it closer to the rack. This leads to a higher number of 2 point shots but a lesser number of assists.
Let us look at the statistics now and see if the above theory is verified. Indiana Pacers average 15.5 3 point shots per game, 65.3 2 point shots per game and 17.7 assists per game. Golden State Warriors average 21.0 3 point shots per game, 60.9 2 point shots per game and 22.6 assists per game.
As you can see, they take more 3 point shots, less 2 point shots and have more assists. It just explains the differences our play style. We want to take the highest percentage shot, they want to take a lot of shots. It also explains why we get to the foul line more as we're getting it stronger to the rack. We're getting 25.4 FTAs per game, they're getting 20.5 FTAs per game. All of this, was highlighted when we played them.
As far as Danny's assist numbers are concerned. Danny is a Small Forward. Monta Ellis is a Shooting Guard. Their style of play is different so they're not going to have the same numbers of assists. Compare Danny with a player who resembles his play style. Which brings me to my next point:
I'm not sure which one of the two is better. They both are damn good. I do agree however that Danny would be a lot better if he had a player like Rose with him. I just don't see Monta being that kind of player.
PS: All that said, Monta would make us a lot better on the fast break. And that's an area in which we need to improve on.