Contrary to popular belief, scoring isn’t everything in the NBA, but it’s far more important for some players than others. In the relatively “old” days, guys like Dennis Rodman would make huge contributions to games without so much as even going near the basket on the offensive end, much less scoring. However, scoring is very important for players like Monta Ellis, who has been lacking in that department lately. And if that doesn’t change soon, he could end up playing for his third team in four years by the end of the season.
Ellis is averaging 18.8 points per game this season, which is a little over half a point less than his career average. So his scoring isn’t down significantly, but he still doesn’t know when to score, which was why he was shipped to the Milwaukee Bucks by the Golden State Warriors in exchange for Andrew Bogut. Put simply, Ellis isn’t helping the Bucks to improve their 21-18 record this year, which might be good enough to get into the Eastern Conference playoffs, but certainly won’t help Milwaukee to make any noise in the postseason.
Ellis is 27 years old and what NBA scouts call a “pure scorer.” However, he doesn’t know how to use this talent to help his team, which is the name of the game. It’s great that he’s putting up nearly 20 points per game, but if his team isn’t winning, what good is it? It’s the age-old dilemma in young basketball players, but although Ellis isn’t “old” by any means at 27, he doesn’t have time to start over again in the NBA. He better grow up quick and start helping this team with his scoring or he’ll be another one of those “what if?” players very soon.