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Mark Jackson: "Monta Ellis Is Third Best Shooting Guard In NBA"

I'm really trying to give Mark Jackson a chance as Golden State Warriors head coach. I really am. Despite all the cliches, all the nonsense he spouts as a TV analyst, despite the total lack of managerial experience, I want to see what Jackson can do before I pass judgment on him.

But when he says things like this, I really can only shake my head. Really Coach? That's what you really think about Monta Ellis?

"‘I want Monta Ellis on this basketball team,’ Jackson told reporters at his introductory news conference. ‘This guy is a big-time player. And I think he’s the third best shooting guard in the league. You have Kobe, obviously, and Dwyane Wade. I will match [Ellis] up against anybody else on a given night and feel extremely comfortable about it.’

No doubt Wade and Kobe lead the pecking order, and should do so for at least a few more years. But I must be missing something. Did Manu Ginobili stop playing basketball after the Grizzlies upset? Do people forget the pure producer Ray Allen can be from behind the arc? And people can make fun of Joe Johnson all they want, but his team went two rounds deeper in the playoffs than Ellis's did.

There's no denying Ellis's excellent offensive talents. But saying he's the third best guard in this league when his defense is at best mediocre? That's something an analyst would do--when it's the coach doing it, it places too much burden and creates unfair expectations for him to live up to. Just coach him and leave the arbitrary rankings to everyone else, like us.

Where do you think Monta Ellis ranks among the current shooting guards in the NBA? Who's the best shooting guard in the league right now? Let us know in the comments!

For more discussion of the Warriors, head to Golden State of Mind.