Saturday, February 1, 2014
All-Star case for Ellis? 'Could say that every year'
By Tim MacMahon
DALLAS – It’s a distinction that Monta Ellis could do without.
He has the highest career scoring average (19.4 points per game) of any player who has never been an All-Star.
“It’s just out of my control,” Ellis said. “That’s all I can say. I mean, I’m blessed to play this game through everything I’ve been through, to still be here after nine years. I just go out there and play.”
Ellis, who is averaging 19.5 points and 5.8 assists while shooting a respectable 46.2 percent from the floor in his first year with the Mavericks, generated some All-Star buzz early this season. However, when the selections were announced, it was no surprise that Ellis’ name wasn’t included.
Phoenix’s Goran Dragic, not Ellis, is considered the biggest snub among guards in the deep Western Conference. Nevertheless, Ellis believes he had a solid case to be selected.
“I mean, I could say that every year,” Ellis said. “But I don’t play for it. I try to do whatever I can to help my team win. Right now, I understand that it’s viewed different, so just keep my head up and keep playing.”
Asked what he meant by “viewed different,” Ellis mentioned that he’d heard in the past how he had to be on a winning team but couldn’t really explain it. His biggest statistical seasons occurred when Ellis was the go-to guy for Golden State squads that were far below .500.
The Mavs are 27-21, but that’s only good enough for eighth place in the West, which essentially guaranteed that Dallas wouldn’t have more than one player selected as an All-Star.
“He’s been playing well,” All-Star power forward Dirk Nowitzki said of Ellis. “He adapted to this new system here. He’s efficient. He’s an efficient scorer here, the way he’s passing, the floor game has been great.
“It was going to be tough to get two in from the 8-seed. That’s just how it is. Usually the best teams get two of them, maybe three, but the eighth seed is going to be a tough case.”
It’s always a tough case for Ellis, who remains on top of a list he’d rather not include him.