Miami Heat Need to Contain Monta Ellis to Extend Win Streak

By Vytis Lasaitis
Monta Ellis Miami Heat
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight, Monta Ellis and the Milwaukee Bucks will attempt to accomplish something no team has managed to do since Feb. 1 – beat the Miami Heat.

Miami are on a historic streak, having won 20 consecutive games. Now, the NBA champions will go through another tough challenge in Milwaukee, where they have already lost by 19 points earlier this season.

The key to victory will undoubtedly be limiting the production of Ellis, who has put together a nice and efficient streak in March. In the seven games the shooting guard has played this month, he is averaging 27.4 points per game and 6.4 assists. What is most impressive is that he is shooting 54.3 percent from the field, which is almost unprecedented for Ellis.

He has always been a high volume shooter, as he is putting up 17.7 shot per game on 41.9 percent shooting from the field this season. Ellis has not relied on his jumper as much in the last seven games, and is instead relentlessly attacking the basket.

The Bucks have played well against Miami overall, and the regular season series is tied at one victory apiece. While Ellis can be an explosive scorer, the Heat have found ways to exploit his weaknesses this year.

With Ellis is on the bench, Miami scores an average of just 81.2 points, but the Bucks defense has leaked against the Heat with Ellis on the floor, allowing 98.3 points.

In the two games, Ellis put up 17 shot attempts, but is shot a horrific 29.4 percent from the field. Miami’s interior defense has forced Ellis to resort to his jump shot, as he has hit just three out of his 12 attempts in the paint against the Heat.

Ellis has not been a problem to the champions this season, but he is playing extremely well right now, and Miami will have to remain vigilant throughout the game in order to keep the streak alive.

Vytis is a Miami Heat and NBA columnist for RantSports. You can follow him on Twitter here: @VytisLasaitis

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