MIAMI – Monta Ellis’ omission from the All-Star team was the talk of the Dallas Mavericks’ shootaround Friday morning at American Airlines Center.
The Western Conference coaches voted for the seven reserves from the West who will play in the Feb. 15 All-Star game in New York. And Ellis, despite averaging team highs of 20.5 points and 1.7 steals per game, was mysteriously left off that prestigious roster.
"I’m disappointed for him,’’ coach Rick Carlisle said. "He’s very deserving, as was some other guys that missed it.
"But it’s a tough year and we need him to continue doing what he’s doing – that’s the bottom line. This should be more motivation for him and the rest of us.’’
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Ellis, who has never made the All-Star team despite putting up some impressive numbers, has a personal policy of not doing interviews after shootarounds or before games. But the disappointment of not earning an All-Star berth was clearly etched on his face when reporters made small talk with him Friday.
"We obviously think he deserved it,’’ said Dirk Nowitzki, who has played in 12 All-Star games. "He had a shot, he’s playing a great season as he did for us last year.
"He’s become our go-to guy now, he’s playing both ends of the floor, making big shots for us, and so we felt like he had a strong case. But saying all that, there’s a lot of guys that always deserve it every year and don’t make it.’’
At this stage in the NBA’s marathon season, 11 teams have won at least 30 games. The Mavs are the only one that doesn’t have a player on this year’s All-Star team.
"It’s a little disappointing, but I guess it kind of speaks to our depth with Chandler Parsons averaging 15 or 16, I’m averaging 17-18, Monta is averaging over 20,’’ Nowitzki said. "So we have a lot of guys out there, I guess, that can score.
"That’s just the way it is.’’