Monta Ellis was 'unhappy' in Milwaukee

Mike Ehrmann

Monta Ellis says he wasn't happy playing with the Bucks, and he's hoping a fresh start with the Mavericks will help his dipping efficiency numbers.

Contrary to this NBA BIG commercial starring a jovial Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings in a take on 1970s sitcom "Laverne & Shirley," Ellis wasn't happy during his time with the Milwaukee Bucks.

Ellis spoke about his experiences with the Bucks during his introductory press conference with the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday, and he believes his performance suffered due to his unhappiness in Milwaukee:

"When you're in a place where you're unhappy, it's very hard for you to perform to your best ability," said Ellis, the American Airlines Center lights twinkling off the oversized diamond studs in each ear. "So, I mean, with this new beginning, new fresh start, you know, better organization, you know, better teammates, they're going to make things a lot more better."

In a little more than one season with the Bucks, Ellis saw his efficiency numbers plummet from previous years. Last season, Ellis shot just 41.6 percent from the field, a shade higher than his career-low of 41.5 percent during his rookie season. Ellis' three-point shooting was also woeful in Milwaukee, with the guard making just 28.7 percent of his attempts last season despite taking four per game.

Ellis left $11 million on the table for next season in Milwaukee and opted to test the market instead. While the three-year, $25 million contract he received may not have been as much as he hoped, Ellis thinks the situation in Dallas will be good for him because he won't have as much scoring responsibility:

"I don't really have to shoot the ball as much on this team," Ellis said. "The previous team I been on, like I said once before, I had to do 60 percent of the work no matter what the situation is. I think with this team here, I don't have to do as much or take as many shots because sometimes they're going to stop me and Dirk is going to be open, Jose [Calderon], Devin [Harris], the list goes on and. So I don't think I have to do as much as I had to do in the previous years.

"So that's going to get me back to being efficient, that's going to get me back to being more consistent and it's going to get me back to playing Monta basketball."

Most people these days view "Monta basketball" as Ellis just chucking up bad shots that don't go in very often, but there was a time when he actually was somewhat efficient. In 2007-08 with the Golden State Warriors, Ellis shot 53.1 percent from the field. And over a two-season period from 2009-2011, the 28-year-old was one of the top scorers in the game while shooting about 45 percent overall.

If Ellis can regain that form in Dallas, he'll quiet a lot of critics and possibly help the Mavs make a playoff run this upcoming year.

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