January 20, 2011
This season has brought a number of qualified All-Star candidates on bad teams in the West: Blake Griffin(notes), Kevin Love(notes), and Eric Gordon(notes) are just three. One of the most deserving -- and perhaps also the most overlooked -- is Monta Ellis(notes), Golden State's highlight machine of a guard. After Stephen Curry's(notes) tremendous rookie season, Ellis was thought of as a failed No. 1 option for the Warriors, but he's burst back in 2010-11 with fantastic numbers and a clear role as the leader of the team.
Last night, he had one of his best moments of the season, a devastating crossover and pull-up jumper on Indiana's Brandon Rush(notes) to give his team the 110-108 win. Monta is best-known for his Gumbyesque finishes at the rim, but his mid-range jumper is nearly as effective.
The Warriors are not a good team, and All-Star spots usually go to players on playoff squads. But it's not Ellis's fault that the Warriors have no depth, or that David Lee(notes) can't stay healthy this season, or that Andris Biedrins(notes) rarely resembles a starting NBA center these days; he does the best he can with the hand he's been dealt. The man is playing like a star this season. Put him in the All-Star Game and let a wider audience enjoy his considerable magic.