After an All-Star snub in February, LaMarcus Aldridge was widely considered by the media as one of the most underrated players in the league among the fans.
Slowly, the fans have turned around to appreciate his great skill set. Likewise, we should do the same for Monta Ellis too.
The guy is an electrifying scorer who really knows how to help a team. Despite the plethora of trade rumors this summer, the Warriors would be blessed if he rescinded his trade demand, as shipping him out would be depriving themselves of one of the most prolific scorers for the Warriors in the last decade.
They traded another great perimeter scorer in Jason Richardson a few years back to make way for Ellis, and he delivered.
Unfortunately, some do not consider him an All-Star. Here's why they should think differently.
Ellis has the ability to score in any way from any spot on the floor anytime. Period.
The media overplays his role as a chucker, and while he does jack up too many shots, the Dubs would succeed even if he took two or three fewer shots a game.
He has improved his three-point shot, and his 36 percent this past season is a career high. He shoots nearly five a game and each one does more than just put three more points on the scoreboard.
The buckets electrify the always passionate Oracle Arena crowd, giving them more momentum. In fact, he made 10 percent more threes and seven more points while playing in Oakland than in any other arena.
He is also gifted with tremendous slashing ability, comparable to that of Dwyane Wade. After one of his two steals per game, "The Mississippi Bullet" runs the floor as fast as anyone and puts in the basket acrobatically (just look at the layup that he's going to make as Amir Johnson just looks) if he is defended or emphatically if the lane is open.
There's a reason that he's a top-10 scorer in this league, and as he enters his prime, he's only going to improve.
Ellis has been scrutinized for his immaturity (particularly after the moped accident), but he is actually a proven leader.
The team captain has grown more mature over the last few years, evinced by his acceptance of Stephen Curry after initially rejecting the idea that the two of them could play together in the same backcourt.
Ellis' fourth-quarter performances are among the most underrated in the league.
As the unquestioned team leader in scoring, especially in the clutch, Ellis performs well under pressure. Over the course of last season, he developed his pull-up jumper, utilizing it in the fourth quarter.
We all know that stats aren't everything, but on the Western Conference All-Star team, only Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony (who was shipped to New York two days later) averaged more points than Ellis this season.
For those who claim that it's because Ellis shoots too much, only two guards on the West bench averaged more assists than Ellis last season. Ellis dished the ball this season more than he did in any of his previous five seasons, including the 2007 playoff year.
On the defensive end, only Chris Paul averaged more steals than Ellis on the West All-Star team over the course of the season.
Now I'm not insinuating that Ellis is better defensively than Bryant. I'm just saying that he deserves to be on the team a lot more than a guy like Ginobili.
Although he was the best player on the best team at the time, the Spurs were built off camaraderie, as no member of their Big Three was more important than any other.
I mean, just look at Manu shying away from defense in the above picture.