- Chris Palmer, ESPN the Magazine
In this space we'll break down the best individual matchup of the week to see who's the better player. But toss out career accomplishments or potential. This is about ability -- strengths, weaknesses, intangibles -- and who gives his team the best chance to win. It's about the only thing that matters when you step on the court on any given night -- who's better right now.
This week's matchup features a pair of explosive guards capable of playing both positions who excel in uptempo situations. Russell Westbrook and Monta Ellis have a lot in common -- game-changing athleticism, 6-foot-3, 185-pound frames, full throttle mentalities and a flair for the dramatic.
But their main contributions come in different ways. Ellis pours in points by the truckload, while Westbrook has a hand in just about every phase of Oklahoma City's attack.
One is possibly the most underrated player in the game. The other is a rapidly improving cornerstone on a championship contending franchise. But which player's skill set has the biggest impact night in and night out?
Monta Ellis and Russell Westbrook are two of the league's best young guards and most explosive scorers. But who's better? Monta and Russell do battle in ESPN Insider's side-by-side analysis.