Monta Ellis is an All-Star. No question. I think we can move on. Let’s try to figure out something much more difficult to explain, like the popularity of the Kardashians. Question has been asked and answered. Done. Over. I know an All-Star when I see one and Monta Ellis is an All-Star.
Ellis is still only 25-years old and in his 6th NBA season. Ellis was drafted in the 2nd round out of high school in 2005. He should have been an All-Star last year. Most Warriors fans knew that, but due to the team’s lack of exposure and his quiet demeanor Ellis didn’t make the All-Star squad. Not this year. His play has become much louder and people have begun to take notice.
Even though the team isn’t much better than they were a year ago, Ellis has blossomed. He is 3rd in the NBA in scoring at 25.9 game, trailing only Kevin Durant and Amare Stoudemire. He shoots at a 48% clip from the field, which is amazing if you’ve seen some of the shots he’s making – or taking for that matter.
Monta knows that it is a numbers game, and that last year he was the odd-man out. Brandon Roy of Portland seemed to be the popular pick over Ellis but that won’t be the case this year. Roy is playing with a bad knee and may never be the player he was again. Even if he does recover, Ellis deserves the honor.
Sometimes numbers lie. A player on a bad team gets his points and the team just keeps losing. While you can make that argument to some degree for Ellis, if you watch him play, you know you are watching one of the game’s elite players.
Those in the know are starting to take notice. The league honored Ellis by naming him the Western Conference Player of the Week after Monta averaged 39.7 points, 7 assists and 3 steals in three games.
Yet in the game vs the 76ers, Ellis may have proven his All-Star caliber despite scoring almost 18 points fewer than he averaged the week prior. Hobbling on a sore ankle with his shots not falling, he dished out a season high 12 assists, paired with his 22 points.
“Everybody was keying in on me and I just had to find the open guy, “ Ellis said. I didn’t have a good shooting night so I said what the heck, let’s get everybody involved.”
Spoken like a true All-Star.
About the Author
Written by Scott Johnston
Scott Johnston is a longtime Sports TV Producer/Writer from Los Angeles who now lives just outside of Boston. After a long career at KCAL-TV in L.A., where Scott covered such things as Kirk Gibson’s HR, Hank Gathers death, and Magic Johnson’s retirement, NBA ll-Star Game MVP performance and subsequent return to the NBA. His favorite team is the Oakland A’s and whomever happens to be playing the Yankees, USC or the Cowboys on that particular day. Scott left his staff position at KCAL and formed his own small production company in 1996 while continuing to freelance there and at other stations, including WTTG in DC for two years. His company, ProTVSports, started out covering one team during Spring Training in 1997 but now covers six of the Cactus League teams. He also covers tennis and golf events during the year and has had the privilege of covering 5 NBA Finals, including two of the last three. Scott loves all sports, but considers baseball to be his favorite. He loves politcs, reading, movies and his wife and two daughters—not in that order!