The Milwaukee Bucks were hoping shooting guard Monta Ellis was going to be a difference maker for them in the 2013 NBA playoffs, even if they had to face the dreaded Miami Heat. However, so far Ellis has done nothing to stand above the rest, with the exception of his breakout performance in Game 1. The veteran must step up in Game 4 or watch the Bucks crumble under the weight of the Heat.
The 27-year-old exploded in Game 1 in which Jennings and he combined for 48 points. Unfortunately, LeBron James and Miami took complete control of that contest in which they were still able to blowout Milwaukee 110-87. It was obvious that the rest of the team bought into the fact that they were not supposed to defeat the powerful Heat.
The Bucks have shown great promise in all three games. In fact, they were leading for a majority of Game 3 before Ray Allen decided to go off and score 23 points off the bench, including five 3-pointers. All Milwaukee needs is their leader to step up and make a difference. Unfortunately, Ellis has done everything but that since the first game of the series.
Ellis is averaging 12.0 points, 4.7 assists, 3.0 steals and 37.7 minutes per game in the series while shooting 40.0 percent from the field and 13.3 percent from beyond the arc. If it were not for his Game 1 statistics, it would be a very pathetic showing on the part of the guard.
Ellis has scored seven points in each of the first two games. He did so by shooting a combined 25.0 percent (4-for-16) from the field and a dreadful 11.1 percent (1-for-9) from 3-point range. The fact that he has attempted a combined 16 shots in two playoff games is embarrassing in itself. Milwaukee should be consistently running plays to get him open, and he should be making plays every time he touches the ball.
The Bucks still have one more chance to extend the series, while Ellis has another opportunity to accomplish something great in Milwaukee. Whether he decides to stand up and get the Bucks a win is all on him.