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Ball Don't Lie

Video: Monta Ellis hits a very tough game-winner

Eric Freeman
Ball Don't Lie

The concept of an All-Star snub is a tough one to pin down, if only because most obvious choices get selected for the game and the last reserves chosen and left off are often largely interchangeable. That's not to say that the "snubs" wouldn't have deserved their selections, just that it's hard to feel especially strongly either way when the margins between players are relatively narrow.

Golden State Warriors scorer Monta Ellis is one of this year's snubs, just as he was last year. And while it's not terribly shocking that he didn't make the West team — he scores a lot, but at a relatively low shooting percentage — especially with fellow snubbed guards like Ty Lawson and Kyle Lowry standing as more logical choices. Nevertheless, he's exciting and makes plays all the time that convince certain people that he might belong in the Mid-Winter Classic some time in the future.

He made one of those plays on Wednesday night: an off-balance, tricky fadeaway jumper over a stellar defender in the Phoenix Suns' Grant Hill. Coming with one second left in regulation, it broke a tie to give the Warriors a 106-104 road win. It was especially notable for Ellis because he had missed several end-of-game, isolation jumpers earlier in the season that would have given the Warriors key wins. This shot won't undue those misses, but that's not reason to turn it down.

The Warriors enter the All-Star break with just a 13-17 record, good enough for 12th in the West. Given the way coaches make selections in this era, that's not good enough to make their best player an All-Star. But maybe that doesn't matter so much. When Monta hits shots like this one, he makes the case that a guy doesn't have to play in the All-Star game to look like a star.

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