Ask any casual NBA fan who the leading scorer is for the Mavericks this season, and they will reflexively (and confidently) respond by uttering the name Dirk Nowitzki.
But that would be factually incorrect.
It’s Monta Ellis, who is averaging a team-high in both points per game (20) and minutes per game (33.7), while being the only Dallas player to appear in all 43 of his team’s contests.
Those are just some of the reasons that Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle believes that Ellis would be more deserving of All-Star honors than any of his other players.
Carlisle on the most-deserving Mav as an All-Star: “I think Monta Ellis is the most deserving based on how he continues to elevate his game”
Carlisle on Ellis as an All-Star: “Each year with us, his defense is a bigger factor. He’s become a leader. … The evidence is all there.”
Rick Carlisle: “Monta Ellis deserves to be an All-Star. Tweet that.”
The Mavericks are currently just fourth in a stacked Western Conference, and even if Ellis is indeed the most deserving in Dallas, he has little to no chance of being chosen as an All-Star reserve by the coaches out West.
We’re talking about a field so loaded that Klay Thompson probably would have been snubbed, if not for the shoulder injury suffered by Kobe Bryant. Damian Lillard, Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, and James Harden all are seemingly in need of invites, which leaves Ellis (and another perhaps more deserving candidate in Mike Conley of Memphis) on the outside looking in.
Ellis never had a realistic chance this year, if we’re being honest. But his coach hyping up his season to the media isn’t at all a bad bit of consolation.