Dallas Mavericks guard Monta Ellis recorded career steal No. 1,000 in the second quarter of Friday's 100-91 loss to the Chicago Bulls. The 6'3" combo guard added another two swipes before the end of the game, bringing his career total to 1,002—good for 148th place in NBA history.
As one of the league's quicker guards, Ellis has unsurprisingly shown a knack for piling up steals since he entered the league in 2005. His style of defending—the words "lazy" and "risky" come to mind—has also been a factor, as Ellis' work on the defensive side has done nothing to dispel his reputation as a player whose stats exaggerate his value.
Ellis' 110 steals are fourth-most in the NBA this season, and he finished in the top four in three out of the previous four campaigns. If he had enough steals (1,250 needed) to qualify, Ellis would rank 30th in league history with 1.74 steals per game for his career.
Despite the gaudy statistics, he's widely viewed as a liability on defense due to his small stature and a perceived lack of effort. While the latter criticism was often fair in the past, Ellis' effort level and decision-making both appear to be improved in his first season with the Mavericks. However, there's nothing he can do about his height, which has always been an issue for the not-quite point guard, not-quite shooting guard.
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