LeBron for leading Miami to road victories over the Suns and Lakers, averaging 27.3 points, 9 boards, 7 dishes, and 2.33 rips over the week, posting a triple-double on Christmas day leaving Kobe and co. wishing they had coal-stuffed stockings as a gift instead, and of course for being LeBron.
Over in Oakland during Monday’s workouts, Warriors staff went out of their way to tell their star shooting guard in person.
Word on the street that you could even hear the spirit of Cyrus shouting “Can You Dig Iiiiiiiiiiiit!?!?!” along the Bay Area. I’m sure Monta will be hearing the sound of clicking bottles and a dude named Luther telling him to “come out and playyyy-ayyy.” 70’s references aside, Ellis put on a hell of a performance this week.
Check it: 44 points on 75% shooting, 7 steals, and 3 assists in a losing effort against Houston. The very next night visiting Sacramento (for those of you who know how much of a pain-in-the-ass playing the 2nd game of a back-to-back on the road is) he puts up 36 points, 7 assists, and four steals. And finally on Christmas this guy was roasting chestnuts on an open fire over at the Oracle, and by chestnuts I mean Blazer. 39 points, 7 assists, and 2 steals with Portland even outrebounding Golden State by 21 boards, and still losing.
On a related note, have any of you Heat fans seen the what Dorell Wright’s been up to over there? Just dropped 28 on the Sixers. He’s been dynamite from 3-point land.
Back to Monta, he’s not only destroying everything off-the-dribble but he’s tricking out as well. Hide yo kids, hide yo wives.
And all this is great. He’s averaging a career high 26 ppg. aiding Stephen Curry in developing a dangerous backcourt that already leads the league in steals, and he’s already hit more than half his last year total of three’s while shooting at a higher percentage.
But here’s the bad news. Not to be a dick or anything but Monta Ellis will not be an All-Star. Despite this incredible basketball and improvement on both ends of the floor. The Warriors are still horrific on defense, on the outside of the playoff race looking in, and while the Warriors have had great players the last significant thing they accomplished on All-Star weekend was Jason Richardson winning the dunk contest with a between-the-legs reverse jamming.
If it was the East I’m certain he’d be able to squeeze in. But it’s not, and he’s in competition with Chris Paul, Manu Ginobili, Russell Westbrook, Deron Williams, Tony Parker, Kobe Bryant, and don’t forget the forwards like Kevin Durant, Dirk Nowitzki, Tim Duncan and Carmelo Anthony. While Ellis may be outplaying some of the aforementioned players, they’re on winning teams who are making plans for the postseason as we speak. And I’m afraid the association will not be making a spot for Monta.
So in consolation, I say Monta Ellis should be in consideration for defensive player of the year. Yes, I know it sounds absurd. And it’s probably a slap in the face of the shot-blocking ability of Dwight Howard and how dedicated he is to protecting the paint. I got you. But The Warriors have no defense. Wes Matthews for the Blazers was breaking 30 points scoring on single-screens and reverse layups. People who play the Warriors get a payday, and how do the Warriors answer? Giving the ball right back to Ellis for a quick score thus neutralizing the previous score they allowed. You can’t tell me anything that better embodies the phrase “the best defense is a good offense.”
Monta Ellis not making the all-star team will be the one of the biggest snubs in the history of the event. Having already won the most-improved player award, we have to give the guy something! The Warriors haven’t seen an all-star in uniform for the game in a very long time, and if you ask me Ellis is the closest thing they’re going to get to Chris Mullin.