Monta Ellis was part of an eighth-seeded team that stunned a heavily favored top seed during the 2007 NBA playoffs. That was the last time Ellis reached the post-season as a member of the Golden State Warriors team that knocked out the Dallas Mavericks, 4-2, in a memorable first-round series. But Ellis tried to temper any comparisons between those Warriors and the current Milwaukee Bucks, who are facing an overwhelming favorite in the top-seeded Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Ellis and the eighth-seeded Bucks begin their challenging task Sunday night with Game 1 of the best-of-seven series in Miami. "The biggest thing was we ended the season on a hot note," Ellis said of the '07 Warriors, who featured Baron Davis, Al Harrington and an in-his-prime Stephen Jackson. "So we were going into the playoffs with a lot of confidence, a lot of momentum. And in the season series we always had Dallas' number. So we always knew what it took to beat them. "We went in and stole the first game. Once we did that, it was all bets off. It's different (now), but it can be done. We just have to go in with the right mind-set. Limit our mistakes, capitalize on theirs and make it a great series." The Bucks have slumped at the end of the season, winning just four of their last 16 games and going 3-7 in April to finish at 38-44. They will be facing a Miami team that won 66 games and posted a 27-game winning streak. If the Bucks are able to give the Heat something to worry about, chances are Ellis will play a major role. The 6-foot-3 guard finished 11th in the league in scoring (19.2 average) and fourth in steals (2.1) while starting all 82 games, the only Bucks player to accomplish that. "He's an impressive player," said Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks. "He has as quick a first step as anyone in the league. He has as good a midrange pull-up game as anyone. Ellis doesn't fit into a neat category as a point guard or a shooting guard, and he has been called upon to do both for the Bucks. Since J.J. Redick arrived in a Feb. 21 trade, Ellis has played more at the point and relished the role. "Nowadays you need guards," Brooks said. "You need players and he's a player. Very few players are labeled as point guards in the traditional sense of the word. "Ellis can play both positions just like Russell (Westbrook) can play both positions and KD (Kevin Durant) can play four positions." Ellis said he is able to play either guard spot.
Ellis has chance to repeat 2007 stunner vs. Miami Heat in playoffs
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | Apr 20