Monta Ellis' Defense Paying Off For Milwaukee Bucks

By John Raffel
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Monta Ellis doesn’t mind demonstrating how effective an NBA player he can still be by playing outstanding defense.

Of course, Ellis doesn’t mind contributing on the offensive end either.

But it was good to see Bucks coach Jim Boylan giving Ellis more credit for the defense he played against the Orlando Magic over the weekend in a 107-98 Milwaukee Bucks victory.

Ellis scored 21 points and had 11 assists which, by itself, is worthy of plenty of praise. Ellis has been performing well offensively for the Bucks.

But what Jim Boylan likes to see from someone like Ellis is the intensity of the defense. J.J. Redick, always dangerous, struggled with 5-of-16 shooting. Boyland could see Ellis was focusing on stopping Redick and the results was a frustrating night for the Magic’s outstanding superstar. The Bucks had four more baskets from behind the arc.

It wasn’t a totally perfect game for Ellis. His turnovers have been a little high, considering he had six against the Magic. But he can catch some type of a break considering he had the 11 assists.

Last season, Ellis was ranked 11th in NBA scoring. So no one could ever debate his offensive qualities.

Defensively, it’s been a different matter, although he was 14th in steals a year ago.

But if Ellis picks up his defense as he did against the Magic and J.J. Redick, he’s going to be an exciting player to watch as a total package. It was 11 months ago that Ellis came to Milwaukee and the Bucks have prospered greatly since his arrival.

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