This is it. This is the year Monta Ellis needs to be in the all-star game. He’s been snubbed before, most notably back in the 2009-10 season where he averaged over 25 points and five assists, but this time around his absence on the roster would feel like even more of a slight.
Face it, he’s been the best player on one of the league’s best teams, and could probably be putting up even better numbers if his team wasn’t chock full of weapons.
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Even so, the numbers are there. He’s 17th in scoring at 20.6 per game, fourth among western conference shooting guards. His 4.5 assists per contest check in at fourth among western conference shooting guards, too. And he’s eighth overall in steals with almost two a game.
But his play goes way beyond what shows up in the box score. Ellis has been the heart and soul of the Mavericks, even with the franchise’s best player ever still on the roster producing and consummate professional Tyson Chandler back in the fold.
Ellis has played hurt, still yet to miss a game in a Maverick uniform. He’s their go-to guy in crunch time, and has delivered time and time again. From the three free throws to send the game into overtime in Chicago, the eventual game winner in the same game, the buzzer beating fade away to lift Dallas over Milwaukee, or the 13 straight points in the fourth quarter against the New Orleans Pelicans, Ellis has been perhaps the league’s “clutchest” player.
Dec 3, 2014; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Monta Ellis (11) takes the game winning shot as time expires during the fourth quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Dallas won 107-105. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Unfortunately, unless we witness some sort of divine intervention, Ellis will not be voted in. He wasn’t even top-10 in votes among western conference guards when the last numbers were released. Jeremy Lin has garnered more votes. Jeremy. Lin. I’m looking at you, Maverick fans. Ellis will have to rely on the coaches to select him, which could very well happen, but the competition will be stiff.
The western conference guards are some of the league’s best players. Kobe Bryant and Steph Curry are the leading vote getters. Ellis’ competition for selection includes James Harden, Chris Paul, Klay Thompson, Damian Lillard, Russell Westbrook…the list goes on. And they all have a case to be in New York for the festivities.
But Ellis has meant as much to the Mavericks as any of those players have meant to their teams, and he deserves to finally be recognized. Come on, coaches. Get him in there!