No need for Ellis to change plans for All-Star break

DALLAS — For the All-Star break, Warriors guard Monta Ellis has long had plans to chill somewhere on a boat with a fishing rod in his hands. Then, word arrived that New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul, who was named an All-Star reserve, would be having surgery and need a replacement.

When asked if he would ditch his plans should commissioner David Stern name him as Paul's replacement, Ellis paused before answering.

"I'll think about it," Ellis said before cracking a smile.

Looks like Ellis won't have to give up his fishing. The NBA announced Wednesday that Stern has pegged Denver Nuggets point guard Chauncey Billups as the All-Star alternate.

The Northwest Division-leading Nuggets have the second-best record in the Western Conference and third-best in the NBA. The Nuggets went 12-3 in January, with star Carmelo Anthony playing in only six of those games. Billups averaged 24.2 points, 6.9 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game in January.

Ellis wasn't too shabby in January, either. He averaged 26.6 points, 6.2 assists and 4.2 rebounds. But the Warriors went 4-11 in January.

"(Billups) should win it, he should be honored and we should move on," Nuggets coach George Karl told the Denver Post. "There's some great guards out there and yes, Monta Ellis has had a special season. ... But we have the second-best record, and the man in the last six weeks has played better than the guys actually on the All-Star team, in my mind. I think it's somewhat of a no-brainer."


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  • Warriors guard Anthony Morrow had to agonize another day wondering if he will be invited to participate in the 3-point Shootout during All-Star weekend.

    The announcement was expected to come Wednesday, but it never came. It could come today. Fortunately for Morrow, the news of him playing in the Rookie Challenge has been holding him over.

    "I'm tired of waiting," Morrow said before the Warriors lost to the Dallas Mavericks. "But I'm still feeling pretty good about that rookie game. That has me in a good place right now."

  • Forward Devean George played 25-plus minutes and helped keep Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki from dominating. Nowitzki took 11 shots, finishing with 20 points and seven rebounds. Warriors coach Don Nelson was looking to use the former Maverick's experience defending Nowitzki.

    "He played him in practice for a long time," Nelson said of George, "and you need to make it as tough as you can on (Nowitzki). ... We have support and we double-teamed him occasionally in certain areas of the floor. We did a good job in support, and he was very willing to move the ball to get it out of double teams."

    — MARCUS THOMPSON II