Ellis helps headline All-Snubbed team
Only Kevin Durant(notes) and Kobe Bryant(notes) are averaging more points than Golden State Warriors guard Monta Ellis(notes) among Western Conference players. That’s one reason why Kobe said Ellis should be an All-Star this season. San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich delivered a similar endorsement.
Not that either opinion mattered much.
Ellis was overlooked again when the West reserves were announced Thursday, extending the Warriors’ streak without an All-Star to 14 years. Latrell Sprewell last represented Golden State in the midseason game in 1997.
Ellis is averaging 25.1 points and has scored 40 points four times this season. His case likely wasn’t helped by the Warriors’ record (20-27) or that he scored just two points in his last game before the West coaches voted for the reserves.
"It's unfortunate that he didn't get a shot," Warriors coach Keith Smart said. "He's playing as well as anyone in the NBA right now, and he's turned his life around. But that's how it is right now.
"It's my job to get our team better so there won't be a reason that he's not from a winning team. He'll keep working and he'll get an opportunity."
Not all was lost for Ellis, however. While he’ll again have to wait to play in the All-Star game, he did make Yahoo! Sports’ All-Snubbed team for the second straight year.
Here’s the rest of the All-Snubbed team:
Steve Nash(notes), Phoenix Suns, G: Nash leads the Western Conference in assists per game with 11.1. That’s even more impressive considering the Suns’ leading scorer from last season, Amar’e Stoudemire(notes), is now in New York. But with the Suns currently not seeded for the playoffs, Nash will miss the All-Star game for the second time in three years unless NBA commissioner David Stern chooses him as an injury replacement for Yao Ming(notes). And with so many talented young guards now in the West – Chris Paul(notes), Deron Williams(notes), Russell Westbrook(notes), Tony Parker(notes), Eric Gordon(notes) and Ellis – it won’t get any easier for the soon-to-be 37-year-old Nash to make next season’s All-Star game.
Kevin Love(notes), Minnesota Timberwolves, F: Love has proven himself to be a remarkable rebounder, averaging a league-best 15.5 – nearly two rebounds more per game than Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard(notes). The former UCLA star has also averaged 21.4 points and ranks ninth in the league in 3-point shooting at 41.9 percent. The problem? The West coaches evidently didn’t put much stock in his accomplishments because Love’s Timberwolves have won just 11 games.
LaMarcus Aldridge(notes), Portland Trail Blazers, F: Aldridge could be the biggest snub of all. With Brandon Roy(notes), Greg Oden(notes) and Marcus Camby(notes) sidelined with injuries, Aldridge has amazingly kept the Trail Blazers in position to make the playoffs. He’s also averaging 21.3 points, nine rebounds, 1.2 blocks and 1.2 steals while playing more aggressive in the post. And he just scored 40 points to beat Tim Duncan’s(notes) Spurs.
"I knew I wouldn't make it," Aldridge told Y! Sports. "But I'm not saying I don't deserve to be in the game."
Andrew Bogut(notes), Milwaukee Bucks, C: Bogut is averaging a double-double with 13.4 points and 11.7 rebounds. His offense has slipped this season, but he still ranks as one of the game’s best interior defenders. What makes Bogut’s numbers even more impressive is that he’s returned from devastating arm and wrist injuries that cut last season short for him. Bogut said he now plans on spending All-Star weekend in Las Vegas. Not a bad alternative.
Honorable mention: San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker; New York Knicks guard Raymond Felton(notes); New Orleans Hornets forward David West(notes); Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph(notes); Denver Nuggets center Nene.