Monta Ellis won’t play in tonight’s game against the Hornets due to a strained groin, and Pacers head coach Nate McMillan confirmed that the veteran guard also won’t travel on the team’s upcoming road trip to Miami, New Orleans, and Detroit (Twitter links via Wheat Hotchkiss of Pacers.com). That puts Ellis on track to miss Indiana’s next four games, and at least a week of action.
Ellis, 31, is averaging single digits in points this year for the first time since his rookie season. Although he’s still playing over 31 minutes per game, Ellis is only getting up 8.5 shots per contest, well below his career average of 15.8. Overall, he has recorded 9.7 PPG to go along with 3.7 APG, 3.3 RPG, and a .433/.300/.840 shooting line.
Ellis’ up-and-down play in Indiana, combined with his $10.77MM salary, has resulted in some trade speculation, but there’s no indication at this point that the Pacers are looking into moving him. Indiana almost certainly won’t need to make a roster move to account for his absence either, even if his recovery extends beyond a single week, since the team has been fairly healthy overall.
With Ellis sidelined, players like C.J. Miles, Glenn Robinson III, and Rodney Stuckey could see an uptick in their playing time. Meanwhile, Ellis, who had appeared in at least 80 games for four straight seasons, will see that streak snapped this year.