Two of the most versatile and well-rounded guards in the Western Conference square off again on Saturday when Monta Ellis and the Warriors face Brandon Roy and what’s left of the Blazers (7 p.m., CSNBA, 680 AM).
We all remember what happened the first time they met. Ellis dominated Portland’s All-Star guard on both ends of the court, piling up 34 points, eight assists and six steals while harassing Roy into a subpar night with 17 points, four rebounds and two assists.
It was after that game that we first started talking about the possibility of Ellis, who played all 48 minutes, being named a Western Conference All-Star himself.
That game against Portland on Nov. 20 was the third game after the Stephen Jackson trade. Since then, Ellis has taken his game to new heights. He now has season averages of 25.5 points, 5.2 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 2.3 steals. He leads the league in steals, minutes and, unfortunately, turnovers (4.3) per game.
Despite all of his accomplishments, Ellis still isn’t in the top 11 guards listed in the most recent All-Star fan voting. Which just doesn’t make sense, because anyway you add up the numbers, Ellis is among the best in the conference.
Ignoring his continued development as a defensive stopper and concentrating simply on the offensive stats, Ellis has to be considered for the All-Star team even if the Warriors do have the second-worst record in the conference.
Rankings are for all Western Conference guards with stats through Friday
POINTS + ASSISTS + REBOUNDS
1. Kobe Bryant — 40.8
2. Chris Paul — 35.3
3. Monta Ellis — 35.0
4. Deron Williams — 33.5
5. Brandon Roy — 32.6
POINTS + REBOUNDS + ASSISTS – TURNOVERS
1. Kobe Bryant — 37.7
2. Chris Paul — 32.8
3. Monta Ellis — 30.7
4. Brandon Roy — 30.2
5. Deron Williams — 30.0
POINTS + ASSISTS X 2 (points contributed per game)
1. Chris Paul — 41.3
2. Steve Nash — 40.8
3. Kobe Bryant — 39.6
4. Deron Williams — 39.3
5. Monta Ellis — 35.9
6. Brandon Roy — 32.9
RANKINGS FOR POINTS + REBOUNDS + ASSISTS
1. Kobe Bryant — 13 (1st in points, 1st in rebounds, 11th in assists among West guards)
1. Chris Paul — 13
3. Monta Ellis — 16
3. Tyreke Evans — 16
5. Brandon Roy — 17
5. Deron Williams — 17
RANKINGS FOR POINTS + REBOUNDS + ASSISTS + STEALS
1. Chris Paul — 15
2. Kobe Bryant — 16
3. Monta Ellis — 17
4. Tyreke Evans — 21
5. Deron Williams — 27
6. Brandon Roy — 28
One stat that people like to note these days is PER from ESPN.com. It’s one man’s formula for ranking efficiency. Overall, Ellis is not among the top 50 players in the league in PER, but does rank 10th overall among Western Conference guards.
There are plenty of other stats that somehow take into account team pace, value added, usage rate, etc. But where are the stats that take into account playing with a rookie point guard or playing without a center or number of times you shoot while facing triple teams because the rest of your team is standing around watching? How about some kind of assist conversion that factors in FG percentage of your teammates (a good big man converts 60 percent of your passes while a good perimeter-shooting wingman is lucky to convert 50 percent).
We could come up with plenty of stats that skew the numbers one way or another. But in the end, Ellis is among the most productive guards in the conference and deserves to be an All-Star — no matter how bad the Warriors’ record is.
Perhaps another dominating game against Roy and the Blazers will be enough to convince Western Conference coaches to name him to the team.