By Rich Winter

   For a guy that averaged 19 points, 3.6 rebounds and handed out 5.7 assists this season, ya sure don't hear a lot about Dallas guard Monta Ellis.

  He got a little run from the general public in 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 when he averaged 25.5 and 24.1 points respectively over those two seasons.

    He's not a hall of famer, but when you start taking a look at his stats and remember that he's only in his ninth year, who knows?

Monta Ellis career numbers: 11,594 points, 2209 rebounds, 2908 assists and 1033 steals. 

   I couldn't help but pour over the box-score of the Dallas vs. San Antonio game the other day.

  Two things jumped out at me.

  Identical stats from the Mavericks two best players.

 Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis - Both were 4-11 and both finished with 11 points and both went 3-4 from the free-throw line. 

      I thought it very interesting that the Vegas bettors have the over/under for tonight's game set at 199.5 after these two teams slogged their way through the first game by scoring 175 points.

   My interpretation of the adjustment is the Vegas oddsmakers are saying no way Dirk and Monta combine for only 22 points.

 Ellis is a good enough 3-point shooter (.319 career and .330 this season), and I absolutely love his toughness. He's great in transition and his ability to get to the basket is going to be key for the Mavericks tonight. 

   If my buddy Chad Whirlwind Soldier is right, and the Mavericks are going to win tonight, I expect Monta Ellis to be a huge part of the solution.