What does Perry Ellis need to do to take the next step?
Perry Ellis is the 24-year-old American star for the Sydney Kings. He played 4 years at Kansas College and then tried for the NBA. After not receiving a contract, he came over to Australia to try his hand in the NBL. Currently, Perry Ellis is averaging 14.9 points per game, shooting 47% from the field, 45% from 3, and 70% at the free throw line. He’s averaged 5.8 rebounds per game, 1.2 assists per game, 0.5 steals per game and 0.5 blocks per game (all going into Round 18).
Simply from the numbers, you can see Ellis is a great scorer. He’s efficient and uses his size well to grab rebounds. His assists numbers aren’t overly high, but playing at the Power Forward position, they’re respectable. Even with numbers like these, Ellis can be seen getting benched during stretches and is rarely, if ever, brought up in MVP conversation amongst fans. So, what is holding Ellis back?
Perry Ellis is 6 feet 7 inches, 99kg, with good speed and footwork. When watching him on offence, he takes no plays off and is very skilled. However, it is the other side of the ball where it is mind boggling how bad he can be. For the Power Forward position, he has the perfect size to be mobile on switches and hold his own against big men, however, his commitment and energy when playing defence is non-existent. Whether it is getting beat off the dribble, biting on pump fakes, or just getting lost; he has been a liability for a struggling Sydney Kings team. The Kings since round 14 are 3-2, which for the Kings, is a good record. They’ve had 1 blowout (while also being blown out once), one loss of 3 points, and 2 close wins both by 7.
Since round 14, Perry Ellis’ averages are 12.8 points per game (Shooting 37% from the field, 25% from 3 and 81% from the free throw line), 6 rebounds per game, 1.2 assists per game, 1 steal per game and 1.6 blocks per game in 29.35 minutes per game.
From this data we see 2 things; offensively Ellis is in a slump. However, his defensive numbers have spiked and his minutes have dropped off. But Ellis has started to put more effort into Defence and has looked decent, (an improvement from atrocious). As a result, the Kings last 5 game record is above .500. Early in the season, we watched Ellis jump for every pump fake, get beaten off the dribble, and just get plain lost on the court. To Ellis’ credit, he has (slowly) improved on that side of the ball; however, his consistency is still something to be desired.
In my personal opinion – Perry Ellis has the talent and size to be a star in the NBL, and we’ve seen flashes of this, with big scoring outputs and defensive stops. But he has struggled to stay consistent on defence and is currently going through his most inefficient part of the season. Maybe it’s just the long season catching up to him, or just the Sydney Kings as a whole, but Perry Ellis has not helped this team as much as numbers may suggest.
Early in the season, he was superstar efficient, but his last 5 games have been terrible. If he can work on consistently shooting a minimum of 45% from the field all season long, without long runs of 30-35% shooting, he will elevate into an elite offensive status. Furthermore, Ellis doesn’t need to become a lockdown superstar defender (that would be nice), but Ellis needs to be committed and consistent in his defence. He needs to work on his IQ; staying on the ground for pump fakes, moving his feet on switches and using his size to his advantage. If Ellis can become a respectable defender, he would easily earn more minutes and be apart of MVP conversations.
My Prediction: if Perry Ellis can find his efficiency and use his size to make an impact on the game on both ends of the floor, he will be an MVP or candidate in 3 years.