The Montakeover



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So many ways to slice the performance put on, orchestrated, directed, developed, produced, written by, and starring Monta Ellis in Milwaukee on St. Patrick’s Day.

And that is exactly what we are doing here: 25 numbers to provide some perspective on the 25 points that Ellis scored in the fourth quarter of the comeback win (another comeback win) over the Magic.

In the end though, you really had to be there. Especially since the game was not locally broadcast on television: you really had to be there. To hear it and see it and feel it. A blast of freshness to all of the senses.

At any given moment, there are hundreds or thousands or hundreds of thousands of people playing basketball around the world. From playgrounds in inner-city Milwaukee to gyms in Slovenia to driveways in Nebraska to Philippine streets. First free throws going in and millionth jumpers rimming out.

For thirty-seven magical minutes on Sunday afternoon, maybe they all held their follow-through a little longer, squared their feet a little squarer, and took a little arc off their shot without even knowing it. Because Monta Ellis was on top of their world.

25 for 25

1. This represents the number of times at halftime of the Magic/Bucks game that I suggested to a friend that Ellis stop shooting three-pointers, pretty much altogether. Ellis did not overhear me.

24.2% Entering the night, Ellis was shooting 24.2 % on three-pointers – lowest on the team.

5-5. Ellis made all five of his three-pointers in the fourth quarter.

0.08% Math! Based on my calculations, the odds of a 24.2 % three-pointer making five three-pointers in a row is 0.08 %. Obviously there are a lot of other factors that you could weigh here that could affect the stat, such as his percentage shooting from precise three-point areas, the very real possibility of “streakiness” increasing the probability on successive attempts, defense or lack thereof, and many other factors. But on a very basic level, this was pretty far out.

25. Exactly zero other NBA players have scored 25 points in a quarter in an NBA game this season.

44. With 18 points in the first quarter and 26 points in the second quarter, the Bucks scored 44 points in the first half.

45. And then the Bucks scored 45 points as a team in the fourth quarter, more than they scored in the entire first half. It is the most any team has scored in the fourth quarter this season, and second most any team has scored in a quarter this season. The Clippers scored 46 against the Rockets in the first quarter on Feb. 13.

2008. That was the last time the Bucks scored 45 points in a quarter. They dropped 45 against the Bulls on April 14, 2008 (hat-tip to BucksPR).

23.8. That is the number of points the Bucks average in the fourth quarter this season. So, Ellis scored more by himself than the Bucks usually score as a team.

24. The number of NBA teams – emphasis on teams – that average fewer than 25 points in the fourth quarter.

25th. The Bucks rank 25th in the NBA in fourth quarter point differential. They outscored the Magic by 17 points in the fourth quarter, 45-28.

7. With 25 points, Ellis outscored seven other NBA teams in the fourth quarter on St. Patrick’s Day.

16. That was his previous fourth quarter high with the Bucks. Ellis scored all 16 of those points in the final five minutes, all in a row, to beat the Cavaliers last year on April 4. That game ranked #4 on last season’s most memorable list. This one is going to be a part of this season’s list.

2-22. No mid-range jumpers here. The beautiful fourth quarter shot chart for Ellis shows that he attempted all of his field goals in the best, most efficient possible places on the court. Ellis did not attempt a single shot from between 2-22 feet. Instead, all of his points came on 1-foot layups/dunks and three-pointers. This also contrasts his 16-point fourth quarter against the Cavaliers last season, which was comprised almost exclusively of mid-range jumpers.

5.  Brandon Jennings assisted on five shots made by Ellis in the fourth quarter. The rest of the Ellis points were unassisted. So, Jennings is the only player that directly set up Ellis for any of his 25 fourth quarter points. Jennings has strikingly increased his assist numbers recently, and his deference to the hot-handed Ellis late in this game was a wonderful glimpse into their ability to not only coexist but thrive. Jennings also twice set up Ilyasova and once Sanders, and totaled a rather amazing eight assists in the final seven minutes of the game.

8-0. Ellis preserved a still perfect 8-0 Bucks franchise record on home St. Patrick’s Day games. (hat-tip again to BucksPR).

4. Don’t forget about the four points (also: both layups) Ellis scored in the final 43.9 seconds of the third quarter. So, he actually scored 29 points in 11:34 of game time.

10:52. And Ellis didn’t even play the full fourth quarter. Marquis Daniels actually came in for Ellis at the 9:16 mark. Ellis came in for Dunleavy at the 8:08 mark.

18-16. With 10:31 remaining in the game, Nikola Vucevic had 18 points and Ellis had 16 points. By the end of the game, Vucevic had 20 points and Ellis had 39 points. Ellis caught up.

0. Ellis never turned the ball over in the fourth quarter.

106.2 % Thanks to a perfect quarter on threes (5-5), at the line (4-4), along with a 3-5 showing on twos, Ellis managed the nearly impossible: a 106.2 % True Shooting Percentage (TS%) in the fourth quarter. For reference, TS% is a measure of shooting efficiency, and the current season leader is Tyson Chandler at 67.7 %. (hat-tip to Tom Ziller for the Advanced Stats calculator).

0-2. Ellis shot 0-2 with three turnovers and did not score in the first quarter. He shot 1-4 in the second quarter.

17-12. The Bucks trailed by 12 points (97-85) with 6:45 remaining in the game. After that, Ellis personally outscored the Magic by a score of 17-12.

3/17. The previous time Ellis played on St. Patrick’s Day, he scored 28 points and dished out 13 assists along with 4 steals while playing all 48 minutes in a 131-121 win over the Hornets in 2010 for the Warriors. The time before that, in 2009, he shot 13-19 from the field for 29 points along with 6 assists in a 127-120 win over the Clippers.

17. Also: Ellis is now 17-17 at the free throw line in his NBA career on St. Patrick’s Day.

Alex Boeder

My passions? Writing and the Bucks, to start. So it is good to be here. I have reported on media row for just about every Bucks home game since 2009-10 – almost all of that time writing for BrewHoop. I have also written for the Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Club, SB Nation, ESPN Milwaukee, Slam Online, etc. You can follow me on Twitter @alexboeder or email me at adboeder@gmail.com.