Two years ago, Monta Ellis slipped down the draft board and everyone had pretty much forgotten about him at the time.
However, the NBA now knows all about this young guard of the Golden State Warriors. He was awarded Most Improved Player for moving from an unrecognized high school student in Mississippi to a quick and quick scoring threat for the Warriors.
It was the closest vote in the history of the award. Ellis won by a slim three-point margin over Kevin Martin of the Sacramento Kings. Ellis received 47 votes and 352 points from the media panel while Martin received 44 votes and 349 points.
This season under new coach Don Nelson, Ellis has averaged 16.5 points, 4.1 assists and 3.2 rebounds. He was part of the team that was instrumental in the Warriors’ return to the playoffs after a 12-year gap.
Ellis was a second-round draft pick and in his rookie season he averaged 6.8 points. This year, his scoring improvement was the biggest increase in the NBA. He came to the forefront of the nation in the Rookie Challenge during All Star weekend where he scored 28 points.
In his second season, Ellis proved to be a major contributor to the Warriors’ quick attack. He not only gained the trust of his teammates and played in key situations, but he also learned to play point guard at Nelson’s request. Only Chris Paul of New Orleans with 17.2 points has averaged more points per game this season among the sophomore pros.
Source by Kum Martin