Monta Ellis was so far in the dumps after the New York game, his body language so telling, that Scott Skiles felt compelled to have a talk Tuesday with the newest Buck.
"He's a little down right now because his shot isn't going in for him," the coach said. "I told him he's too good a player to get down."
It's good that Ellis is conscientious to the point that he said he felt he let the team down Monday night in a really bad loss to the Knicks. He took responsibility for his 2-of-14 shooting in a game that the Bucks needed to have against the shorthanded team just north of them in the standings. You want a guy who cares.
But only to a point.
You knew the trade to bring Ellis aboard for the playoff run was risky in that blockbuster moves usually take time for the principals to adjust. That wasn't the case a couple of years ago when John Salmons shot the Bucks into the playoffs. . . just before he played himself right out of town.
After six games, there didn't seem to be a whole lot of chemistry between Ellis and Brandon Jennings in the backcourt. These are two guys who need the basketball, but it seems to go beyond that basic scorer's mentality. Ellis' shot wasn't falling, making the chase to catch New York and Boston for the last playoff slot a little more anxious for the Bucks.