Dime 1-on-1 NBA Tournament, Latest News, NBA / Jul 6, 2011 / 1:00 pm

Dime’s 1-On-1 NBA Tournament: Kevin Durant Vs. Monta Ellis

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant (photo. Dorothy Hong)


*And if you didn’t get a chance to vote on the Dwyane Wade/Joe Johnson matchup, there’s still time. Voting closes 24 hours after each matchup is posted.*

If LeBron is the mortal enemy, then Kevin Durant is the NBA’s beloved son. He’s the savior that will promote and empower the ideal NBA role model. He’ll end world hunger. He’ll find a cure for cancer. He’ll broker a peace in the Middle East. When Russell Westbrook refused to defer to his lankier teammate, we were personally offended. So what did we do? We vilified him (myself included). Shipping Westbrook out of Oklahoma City went from blasphemous to welcomed. And it only happened because our love for Durant is unabashed and unflappable.

With no teammates to steal the spotlight, Durant will be able to remind us why we had no problem ignoring his inability to bench press 185 pounds. Against the shorter Monta Ellis, he’ll have no problem creating shots and collecting rebounds. If this weren’t loser’s ball, I wouldn’t be surprised if Durant reeled off 11 in a row. But Ellis’ quickness may prove to be problematic for the gangly sharpshooter. It isn’t in Durant’s DNA to barrel over defenders – he prefers to slide past or rise above. Knowing Ellis, he’ll be pesky. Reaching in, flailing his arms, doing whatever it takes to bother Durant. If Monta can force him into multiple rise and fires, this game could get real close. All it takes is a few Durant misses to swing momentum in the Golden State guard’s favor.

But Ellis won’t come to play; he’ll come to win. He’s toiled in anonymity in Golden State, relatively unappreciated and watching his prime years being wasted by poor management. If and when he finds a new home, maybe more will realize that this cat can score on anyone.

Dime 1-on-1 Tournament Bracket

Countless doubters have played the height card against him and lost. Durant’s wingspan may prove bothersome, but bothersome just isn’t good enough. Unless you’re swatting his shot into the stands, Ellis will put it in the bucket more often than not, because his near-the-hoop arsenal is more dangerous and versatile than most give him credit for. If he’s soaring through the paint with the ball in hand, count on him to flip it, scoop it, lay it up or even dunk it. If he drops a few in a row, don’t be surprised if frustration begins to seep in for Durant. There’s nothing worse than watching a little guy score when you were inches from a devastating block.

Unending tattoos vs. hardly-visible tattoos. Freak athlete vs. undersized, positionless guard. Well-spoken vs. mumbling. Durant may seem like the obvious choice, but Ellis could easily spring the frustrating but not surprising upset.

Jay Bilas: “Ellis has turned into such a terrific player. When he was drafted, I wasn’t convinced he would be anywhere near this good. But, he is better than anyone thought. Ellis has a real hunger to score, and is fearless. But, Durant can score from anywhere, and his length will be the difference. Durant can bother shots, and Ellis will have a harder time doing that.”

*also vote for Dwyane Wade/Joe Johnson*

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  • Ian

    ellis takes this one

  • ctkennedy

    this games depends on how Durant call fouls …i say that cuz if Ellis get up in him …Durant cant put the ball down for shit he 6 10 ..he would have to bent over to get anywhere on Ellis…n on D he has to give Ellis space he too flat footed…that a MAJOR reason once Scott Brooks got hired he moved him back to Small Forward after they tried that Shooting Guard bullshit

  • amanuel

    how can i watch the 1-on-1 game any ideas please

  • LakeShow84

    Itd be close but Durant would probably say “Fuck this midget” and start raining..

  • LakeShow84

    But if Monte’s jumper is falling id go Monte.. Shit this is actually a good one..

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    I would love to know which one of these two ya’ll consider “well-spoken”.

  • JH

    Monta is better built for 1 vs 1 than Durant in my opinion. In a team format though…Durant trumps Monta.

  • http://www.dimemag.com panchitoooo

    wow this is a hard pick, monte and durant are stupid scorers around the rim and have numerous 1 on 1 moves in their aresenal. at first i wanted to pick durant since hes in his prime and injury free, and like Bilas said the reach and all but then thinking about monte and the outstanding highlights hes entertained me with over the pass 3 years i cant give durant the clear advantage.

    but im sticking with Durant as my pick even though monte has done wonders for me in 2k11. scoring champ and a whole lotta confidence is a good bet. i feel that Durants consistent jumper over the smaller defender will give him the slight edge…11-8 durant


    Durant is clearly the better player in the context of NBA team play we all know that, however Monta is just one of those dudes BUILT for killing people in 1 on 1’s.

    I think Monta Ellis will just blow by Durant on offense and the fact he is small and fast will make him a constant problem when Durant is dribbling.

    I think Ellis murks him in a 1 on 1. Unless Durant shoots the lights out.

  • CLAW

    Does Durant even have to do a jump shot to shoot over Ellis?

    KD kills him, Monta is quicker but that is 6 inches to shoot over while KD will have no problem getting his shot off. Taking KD 10-6.

  • http://kapatid7799@yahoo.com bucks fan

    as great a scorer elis is, i don’t see him winning this one. even though he can use his quickness and can passes by KD anytime he wanted, KD would probly block his shots anyway. KD dosnt even have to jump to score on monta.

  • First & Foremost

    LOL… KD wins 10-6??? Does Monta just forfeit once the game gets to game point?

    So what if Durant is taller. The name of the game is creating space. Stretch-Armstrong can probably make up space but not like Durant is known for using his legnth to bother people and block shots.

    I see this as KD getting put on skates and flailing his arms trying to play defense. However on offense his stride will overwhelm Ellis. Once the game gets 6 to 7 Durant camps out in the lane getting his Kareem on.

  • James

    I see turnaround buckets all day like the YMCA dude with the two knee braces. Kd all day

  • nizzio

    KD will win because offensively, he is just as powerful as Monta. He can hit shots from wherever and he is very good around the paint. Monta can barely guard average two guards in the NBA. How do you think he’ll stop a top 5 player like KD? KD might not be fast like Monta, but he’ll have a hand up in his face most times. Monta won’t be able to stop KD. 11-7 Durant

  • srsh

    They’ll both score @ will against each other. Ellis has crazy stamina & will outlast Durant.

  • http://www.wtf.com Chicagorilla

    I don’t think you guys realize how great a height distance it is from 6’3 to 6’10. Throw in Durants 7’4 wingspan, shooting, and dribbling ability, not to mention he actually tries on defense and this game is a blow out. It would take something out of the norm for Monta to win.

    Durant honestly doesn’t have to do much but hit turn around J’s on Monta. ONce on defense, he could lay off a significant amount of space until Monta comes to him near the mid-range area. Once that happens, Durant can easily bother or perhaps even block Monta’s jumper. Monta’s only hope on D is to pressure Durant and maybe force him into a fadeaway but getting physical…which will be hard considering Monta is like 185lbs himself.

  • Moneer Mujaddidi

    Monta has this one

  • Zack Lufton

    Durant might have more skill but Ellis would win in a 1on1 situation

  • http://dimemag.com/2011/07/dimes-1-on-1-nba-tournament-kevin-durant-vs-monta-ellis/ Jordan

    I like Monta Ellis and he is one of my top 5 favorite players; but c’mon lets get real now; Kevin Durant would win this easily becuz of his length and jumpshooting ability. Ellis is very fast but in a halfcourt set; speed is not a great advantage but it’s still a good advantage