The Dallas Mavericks were in a foul mood Friday after guard Monta Ellis was omitted from this year’s Western Conference All-Star team.
The Western Conference coaches voted for the seven reserves who will play in the Feb. 15 game in New York. Ellis, despite averaging team highs in points (20.5) and steals (1.7), was left off the roster.
“I’m disappointed for him,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “He’s very deserving, as were 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, has a personal policy of not doing interviews after shootarounds or before games. But the disappointment 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 the past 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.”
Eleven teams have won at least 30 games this season, and 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.”
While other players were also slighted, Parsons believes the Mavs’ position in the standings should have vaulted Ellis into the game.
“We have a very good team and we’ve been in the top four pretty much all throughout,” Parsons said. “He’s been probably our best player, our leading scorer, and he’s hit some incredible shots in the fourth quarter.
“It’s tough and it’s a little confusing how there’s not one guy on the Mavs going.”
Parsons, though, couldn’t help but look at the big picture.
“Individual accolades are cool,” Parsons said. “But the goal is to win a championship as a team, so that’s much bigger than anyone making the All-Star team.”
Parsons sits with illness
Parsons sits with illness
Parsons went through Friday morning’s shootaround and seemed fine, but something happened between then and when the Mavs left their hotel.
“It just came on this afternoon, and I’ve been told to categorize it as an illness and he just can’t go,” Carlisle said. “I hope he’s feeling better by tomorrow.”
The Mavs play at Orlando on Saturday. Parsons always has that game circled because he’s from the Orlando area.
Barea right at home
Guard J.J. Barea played before some friends and family members Friday against Miami.
Barea graduated from Miami Christian School, and his 3-year-old son, Sebastián, lives in Miami.
“I remember coming to the games,” said Barea, who was born in Puerto Rico. “It’s the closest thing to Puerto Rico, so it’s always fun.”