In one of my favorite features, ESPN’s David Thorpe picks which veterans key rookies should study. For Greg Monroe, he chose Joakim Noah:
There’s no question Monroe has found a better gear to play in during the past two months. But there are more gears to unlock, and no one at any position plays at full tilt as much as Noah does.
Noah is energy personified — he adds to the game even when he’s not producing because of how he impacts his teammates. Monroe, should he learn to play at that level, would be capable of similar things. Even if he just upgrades his energy 10-20 percent, it would make a big impact for someone who already looks like a starter in the NBA.
Step one can be studying how rarely Noah sits quietly on the bench while watching his teammates play, then seeing how he can lift his Pistons teammates up in a similar manner.
I completely agree. Monroe has said he plays hard even though he doesn’t wear his emotions on his sleeve, and that’s totally true. But as we enter an era where Monroe becoming a leader would boost the Pistons, he could better serve the team if he looked like he was playing as hard as he actually is. His teammates need to see that example, because if they emulate the desire it appears Monroe is showing, they’re going to struggle.