Hollinger's a Riot: Monta Ellis Is an All-Star, End of Story!

Steven ResnickSenior Writer IJanuary 22, 2010

As I was perusing on SBNation I came across a comment detailing a chat session with ESPN's John Hollinger. Among the many questions that were asked in Hollinger's chat was the question that Golden State Warriors fans have been wanting to know and that is Monta Ellis an all-star?

Looking at the chat there were two questions about Ellis which can be found here . One question was asking if Ellis was an all-star and the other question that was asked was in response to a statement that Hollinger had made stating that Ellis wasn't helping the Golden State Warriors.

His response to the first question is this "No, he's not. He's putting up a lot of points but using up so many possessions in the process that I'm not sure he's really helping much."

Hollinger must not watch the Warriors much and rely on his information from reading the boxscore because that statement is absolutely false. I can see where Ellis has taken plenty of shots and had his fair share of turnoers, but too say that Ellis isn't helping much is ludicrous!

The fact of the matter is though that Hollinger is ignoring the big picture! What Hollinger doesn't say or pointedly ignored is that the Warriors have been among the lead leagues in road games throughout the season and too make matters worse the Warriors have been decimated by injuries.  

Right now the Warriors do not have a backup point guard or shooting guard on the roster! Their bench for the last two games have been Anthony Tolliver, Cartier Martin, and Chris Hunter. Three players who started the year out in the D-League.

Those two games the Warriors have played were against the Chicago Bulls which was a win for the Warriors and a heartbreaking loss to one of the Western Conference power house teams the Denver Nuggets.

Looking at the starting lineup for the Warriors in those games were Andris Biedrins, Devean George, Corey Maggete, Monta Ellis, and Stephen Curry. With the bench being Martin, Tolliver, and Hunter.

It's a testament to Ellis and the Warriors to even go 1-1 in that situation and Ellis is being passed over because according to Hollinger he takes up too many possessions. That's just plain ignorance by Hollinger.

Hollinger ignored the fact that Ellis has become a much better defender. All Hollinger really needs to know is what Ellis's defense did to Brandon Roy in the Warriors win over the Portland Trail Blazers.

Ellis gets plenty of possessions with the Warriors right now mostly due to injuries and also he's their best scoring option and if he continues to hit the three with more success or Ellis gets more respect from the referees he could end the year by averaging close to or above 30 points per game.

Also, Hollinger hasn't notated that Ellis has become a much better distributor of the ball. Ellis currently is averaging 1.4 more assists then his previous career high.

Now for the second response Hollinger tries to explain further stating "He has the worst +/- on the team, by far. Golden State scores 19.9 points per 100 possessions **less** with Monta Ellis on the floor. His TS% is below the league average and he has a negative pure point rating, so he needs to chill out and let some other guys take a few turns with the ball."

Now let's examine this more carefully. Is Hollinger really looking at the plus-minus rating which is one of the most worthless stats created for basketball? This isn't hockey where a plus-minus rating means something.

Ellis has played the most minutes this season with his averaging being 42.4 minutes per game. At this point Ellis has played 40 games which means he's layed 1696 of the 1920 minutes for the Warriors this season. That comes out to 88.3 percent of the minutes he has played for the Warriors.

Which, means it's easier to figure out why Ellis' plus-minus maybe different then a team like the Nuggets who have backup guards who can spell relief for Chauncey Billups and Aaron Affalo.

The Warriors on the other hand do not have that luxury. Meaning that in games where normally Ellis would have been taken out he's still out on the court.

Now let's examine Ellis's numbers for the season he's averaging 26.7 points per game, 5.5 assists per game, 4.3 rebounds per game, 2.2 steals per game, 4.2 turnovers per game, while shooting 46.2 percent from the field, 31.3 percent from beyond the arc, and 75.6 percent from the free throw line.

Hollinger doesn't say what Ellis' ts percentage is which is 52.2 percent. But, I really don't see how that would effect Ellis getting into the all-star game. Hollinger claims it's below the league average, but doesn't state what the league average is!

Now, Hollinger also claims that the Warriors need other guys to step up. Well Corey Maggete has and he's playing like an all-star and if we're going by ts percentage like Hollinger has for Ellis, Maggette is third in the league for it with a ts percentage of 64.9!

Maggette on the season is averaging 20.3 points per game, 6.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists, on 54.3 percent shooting, 22.2 percent from three, and 84.4 percent from the free throw line.

How about this John Hollinger does those numbers for Maggette represent Ellis allowing a teammate to get involved in the offense?

Besides Maggette with his ts percentage let's take a look at the leaders there's Mike Miller who hasn't played in very many games, Erick Dampier, Steve Nash, Greg Oden, Chris Anderson, Kendrick Perkins, Marc Gasol, Nick Collison, Hasheem Thabeet, Matt Bonner, Dwight Howard, Robin Lopez, Carl Landry, Nene, Pau Gasol, Paul Pierce, Al Horford, Chauncey Billups, and Amare Stoudemire.

Hollinger also left out that Ellis is number one in the league in scoring in the paint! It's not Howard! It's not Kobe Bryant! It's Ellis! I guess it's easy to overlook stats when you say he's below average for ts percentage, but when looking at the top 20 only Miller, Nash, Pierce, and Billups are perimeter players.

So, I somehow doubt that Ellis is below average when it comes to ts percentage especially when compared to guards.

Especially since when you actually show the rankings of shooting guards in terms of ts percentage there's only all-star out of the group and that is Brandon Roy who has a ts percentage of 58.1 and Allen Iverson with 54.9 percent.

Before Hollinger throws out numbers maybe he should do a little more research on them before saying that Ellis is below average especially when his own formula on the website for ESPN only shows the top 20 for each position.

Now using the numbers for PER which is another one of the formulas that Hollinger likes to use Ellis comes in at number 9. Only Jamal Crawford, Andre Iguodala, Joe Johnson, Manu Ginobili, Kevin Martin, Brandon Roy, Kobe Bryant, and Dwyane Wade are better in terms of PER. With Martin only playing nine games so far this year he gets thrown out, so it means Ellis is really number eight.

So, if Hollinger wants to lay claims about his percentages that he has on ESPN, why doesn't he take a closer examination at them? The reason being is that he can't admit to himself that he's wrong about Ellis!

It's also hard to say because the Warriors record is so bad that also should be a reason why Ellis is not invited. Well, when a team has had 10 players miss significant time because of injuries the team's record is going to suffer.  

The simple fact of the matter is that Monta Ellis is an all-star regardless of the feeble attempts of ignorance by Hollinger to try to portray Ellis as a player not deserving of an all-star spot!


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