In what can only be described as an offensive masterpiece, the Milwaukee Bucks ended their two-game losing streak with a 108-101 victory over the Atlanta Hawks. At the heart of the victory was Monta Ellis, who finally broke free from his offensive rut since joining Milwaukee on March 16th.
Ellis led a balanced offensive attack, topping the 20-point plateau for the first time since joining Milwaukee. He continued to pour it on after reaching the 20-point mark, reaching 33 points on 15-of-24 shooting. He also dished out eight assists, grabbed four rebounds and picked up a steal.
Along with his efficient scoring was Brandon Jennings' 18 points, Drew Gooden's 16, Mike Dunleavy's 13 and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute's 12. Together, that core group led the Bucks to 44-of-88 shooting as a team, including 15-of-16 from the charity stripe.
While Ellis will need to perform at this level on a more consistent basis in order to garner true respect as the Bucks' star, his performance tonight cannot be undervalued. After all, Ellis not only scored in the way that he's been expected to play, but he did so at a more efficient rate than any have come to expect.
His 15-of-24 shooting, a rate of 63 percent of his shots made, was his most efficient scoring performance of the season. Not once had he shot so well on such a large volume of shots, beckoning the question: Has Monta Ellis finally found his comfort zone?
I believe he has.
In 2012, Monta Ellis played 36 games with the Golden State Warriors. He shot the ball less than 10 times on just two occasions in those appearances, a sign of his irresponsibility as a scorer.
In his seven games with the Bucks, Ellis has already matched that number.
As long as Monta Ellis can turn this into a trend, rather than an occasional occurrence, his status as an elite player may soon be confirmed. With Brandon Jennings alongside him, the status of efficiency becomes furthermore imperative.