The Milwaukee Bucks have voted and named guard Monta Ellis and forward Mike Dunleavy Jr. team captains for the 2012-13 NBA season. The two veterans were chosen by their peers in a team vote that took place on Wednesday.
It goes without saying the players chose the two best men for the job as Ellis and Dunleavy have 17 years of NBA experience between them, not including the upcoming season. Dunleavy has plenty of experience as a team captain as he performed the same duties with the Golden State Warriors and Indiana Pacers.
“When your teammates select you for something, it means a lot,” Dunleavy said. “Being in the league my 11th year now, I’ve seen a lot and been around a lot. Hopefully I can provide some leadership for our guys and we can have a great season.”
That is exactly what his teammates had in mind when they selected him for the job. Dunleavy has been sensational since joining the Bucks last year and has been a breath of fresh air off the bench for head coach Scott Skiles. Dunleavy is everything Skiles looks for in a sixth man, as the coach believes Milwaukee will win games outscoring their opponents with a better second squad.
“I think I lead by example a lot but there are times where I will speak up and say things,” Dunleavy said. “I’m pretty objective about things and I don’t tend to overreact. Hopefully I can help.”
Dunleavy posted 12.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game with an impressive 47.4 percent from the field and 39.9 percent from beyond the arc in 26.3 minutes of game time last season. The 32-year-old hopes to improve on those numbers in his contract year.
Ellis would like to improve on his statistics this season as well as his numbers dropped off a bit after joining the Bucks in a trade with the Warriors. The 27-year-old is another no-brainer for the captain position considering how much experience he brings to the team. The younger guys such as rookie Doron Lamb and even Brandon Jennings will certainly learn a lot playing with him this year.
Ellis averaged 17.6 points, 5.9 assists, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.4 steals in 21 games with Milwaukee last season. His field goal percentage (.432) and minutes (36.0) per game were almost identical to that of when he played for Golden State. However, his 3-point percentage (.267) dropped drastically with the Bucks then what it was with the Warriors (.321).
Milwaukee is loaded with potential and will have every opportunity to make a legitimate run at a postseason berth. There may be a slight adjustment period with new players joining the team in the off-season but once they get past that the team should be golden.
Michael is a MLB and NBA Featured Writer for Rant Sports, but covers topics for various teams in baseball, basketball, and football. Make sure to follow Michael on Twitter @MichaelTerrill and on Facebook.