The Milwaukee Bucks are an incredibly unique team in the sense that they have two guards that dominate the ball for the majority of the game and are high-volume shooters. Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis have both earned the reputation over their careers for taking a ton of shots and not exactly being efficient in doing so. However, Ellis seems to have caught fire over the past month for Milwaukee.
In his 51 games before the NBA All-Star break, Ellis was putting up the numbers that people would expect him to. He was averaging 18.4 points, 5.5 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game, but was shooting just 40.1 percent from the field and a putrid 23.2 percent from long range. That’s been the narrative for Ellis for most of his career; he puts up nice stats, but with undesirable efficiency.
For whatever reason though, that’s all changed in the 18 games since the break. Over that time, Ellis has averaged 22.3 points, 6.7 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game, and has shot 46.8 percent from the field and 37 percent from beyond the arc. That’s absolutely phenomenal on both the statistical side and the efficiency side of things.
Ellis has been playing like an All-Star, ironically, ever since the All-Star break. It’s not that he’s taking less shots or anything. In fact, he’s actually averaging one more shot attempt per game now than he was before All-Star weekend. Ellis has just been taking smarter shots the majority of the time, and has looked more like a leader of this Bucks team.
Milwaukee is currently fighting for position in the bottom half of the Eastern Conference. They currently occupy the eight-seed and trail the seven-seed Boston Celtics by just two games. If they want to improve their position in the standings over their remaining 13 games, Ellis is going to have to continue playing this way. Other things, of course, have to happen as well, but Ellis playing efficient offense is a terrific place to start.