Warriors.com will provide constant blog updates with its wide-ranging coverage throughout the year. With news updates, photo galleries, videos and more, warriors.com will continue to offer the most complete coverage of the team on the Web.
Thirty-plus games into the season and we can now make legitimate cases for who deserves to be playing in the exhibition game taking place in Los Angeles on February 20. The Warriors have several candidates worth your consideration, and none is more deserving than Monta Ellis. Now in his sixth NBA season, Ellis has truly come into his own and is beginning to be recognized throughout the league as one of the top guards in the game.
Ellis is currently third in the NBA in scoring (25.3 ppg), second in steals (2.29) and first in minutes (40.8 mpg). He has three 40-point games – Dwyane Wade, who has two, is the only other NBA player with more than one such game – and he is averaging what would-be career-highs in assists (5.5) and steals. He’s been held to less than 20 points on just eight occasions this season and his eight 30-point games is second only to Kobe Bryant’s 11 among NBA guards. Ellis recently sat down for an exclusive interview with Dennis Scott of NBATV and spoke about the season he's having, his journey as a player, his family life and much more. Watch below:
As mentioned in the video above, Ellis is the one of only five players in the NBA averaging 20.0 points and 5.0 assists this season, and the four others will likely be wearing an All-Star uniform on February 20: LeBron James, Deron Williams, Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook. As impressive as Ellis’ numbers have been this season, the efficiency in which he has achieved them is what truly makes Ellis stand out among other All-Star candidates. Among those ranked in the top 20 in scoring, Ellis ranks second in shooting percentage (.473) among guards (Wade is first at .495). Just to provide a basis of comparison, Kobe Bryant’s career-high shooting percentage is .469. Speaking of Bryant, he’s the only player in the NBA this season with more 20-point halves (11) than Ellis (10).
Vote for your favorite Warriors players to make the All-Star Game by clicking here.
Ellis is one half of the NBA’s most productive backcourt, with the other half made up by Stephen Curry. After a terrific rookie campaign, Curry has been even better thus far. Among all second-year players, he ranks first in scoring (18.7 ppg), free throw percentage (.916), steals (1.92 spg) and three-point percentage (.434); and he’s second in assists (6.0 apg), third in field goal percentage (.472) and fourth in minutes played (33.3 mpg). Curry’s defense has improved since last season and he would rank sixth in the NBA in steals if he had enough games to qualify. Likewise, Curry would be fourth among NBA point guards in scoring – third in the Western Conference.
David Lee also has some All-Star credentials worth boasting about. With averages of 15.0 points and 10.1 rebounds, Lee is one of only six players in the NBA to average a points-rebounds double-double. Lee has posted 13 double-doubles, including three with at least 15 points and 15 rebounds, which is quite impressive considering he’s played in only 25 games this season. The only other Western Conference big men with double-doubles in more than half of their games are Kevin Love, Blake Griffin, Pau Gasol and Zach Randolph. Lee’s statistical success is closely linked with that of the team’s, as the Warriors are 9-4 when Lee posts a double-double.
Last, but certainly not least, Andris Biedrins is also worthy of your All-Star consideration. He would rank seventh in the NBA in rebounding (9.8 rpg) if he played in enough games to qualify and he is tied for second in the league with two games of 20-plus boards. Among Western Conference centers on the All-Star ballot, Biedrins is second in both rebounding and field goal percentage (.536).
Just some things to keep in mind when casting your NBA All-Star ballot. Voting ends on January 23, and fans can vote in multiple ways. Click here for more details.
NBA Media Ventures, LLC | Turner Sports Interactive, Inc.All rights reserved. No portion of NBA.com may be duplicated, redistributed or