Monta Ellis says he's not thinking about his contract or where he will be next season.
And the Milwaukee Bucks clearly hope that's the case.
The Bucks need Ellis playing at a high level if they want to hold their current eighth playoff position or move up a notch or two in the final 33 games of the NBA season.
That's why there was so much talk about Ellis' on-court demeanor Saturday night, when he took nine shots and scored just eight points in the Bucks' 105-100 home loss to the Detroit Pistons.
Ellis' body language seemed to signal a certain unhappiness or discontent.
But the Bucks shooting guard insisted after practice Sunday that he is fully committed to the team's success.
"I go out and play hard every night," Ellis said. "I do whatever it takes to help my team win. I don't know why people are doubting that or whatever.
"I still go out every night and play hard, try to do whatever I can to help my team win, even if it's on the offensive end, distributing the ball or on the defensive end.
"You go through things in the NBA. You go through a stretch where you're shooting bad. You go through a stretch where you're losing. You go through a stretch where you're winning.
"You take the bad with the bad, the good with the good and move on to the next one."
Ellis has struggled with his shooting touch. In the last six games he has converted only 36.8% of his attempts, making 32 of 87 field goals. In that same stretch he has hit 20% from beyond the three-point arc (4 of 20).
He shot 6 of 21 in Denver on Tuesday and was 7 of 20 against the New York Knicks on Feb. 1. His best game recently came when he hit 7 of 16 shots and contributed 21 points and 11 assists in a victory over Orlando on Feb. 2.
The Bucks have lost five of their last six and three in a row.
"He's just got to stay aggressive," Bucks coach Jim Boylan said. "There have been discussions. He's not being singled out or anything like that.
"But he's a vital piece of what we do. We need him to play his game. If he does that, we'll live with it, whatever the results are. I believe if he plays his game then he will be effective."
Monta Ellis insists he's committed to Bucks' success
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | Feb 11