Today, a few days after we rated him the ninth-best shooting guard in the NBA, is Monta Ellis‘ birthday. He’s 27 years old. Five years after he won the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award, we still aren’t sure how to define Ellis as a basketball player. Should he be a high-scoring sixth man? Will the tandem with Brandon Jennings work? Does he deserve to be an All-Star by now? This year, his first full one in Milwaukee, could answer all of it.
Yes, they’re the Bucks. They play in Milwaukee. Jennings is probably their biggest name, and known more for summer league ball than NBA ball. But if you don’t know by now, Milwaukee is actually really fun, and amazingly, really interesting to watch. They have shooters. They play small. They’re aggressive. Ellis is at the center of it all, a 6-3 bowling ball incapable of ever going half ass on his way to the cup.
For all of the arguments made about his negative effect on a team, Ellis, according to BasketballValue, actually helped the Bucks not only offensively, but defensively last year. This year, most expect them to win somewhere around 40 games, and be in the hunt for the East Playoffs until the final moments of the regular season. And no matter what you think about his game, you can at least say this: we know what to expect out of Monta Ellis, even if we aren’t exactly sure what that means.
Will Milwaukee make the playoffs?
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