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Will Greg Monroe be better than Pau Gasol and Amar’e Stoudemire in 2015?

I’ve linked to the fun speculative series that Tom Ziller, Mike Prada and Andrew Sharp are doing at SB Nation, predicting who they think will be the top 99 players in the league in 2015, a couple of times now. I think it’s safe to say Pistons fans will enjoy where Greg Monroe showed up on their countdown:

28. Greg Monroe

Put it this way: if he’d played anywhere other than Detroit last year, there’d be approximately 300 percent more buzz around Greg Monroe and where he’ll go from here. He averaged 13.7 ppg and 10 rebounds after the All-Star break last season, and he’s still 21 years old. As he gets older and stronger, he’s poised to become one of the best passing big men in the league, a better scorer, and one of the most versatile power forwards in the league. — Sharp

PRADA: Monroe going 15 spots higher than Serge Ibaka is pretty questionable.

ZILLER: Monroe would be No. 2 on my list of centers under the age of 22 that I’d want most. (I mean, he’s no DeAndre Jordan, but …) I have a feeling Warriors fans are going to be apoplectic by 2015 about passing on Monroe in 2010.

But, along with the analysis, check out some of the names Monroe finished ahead of: Brook Lopez, Amar’e Stoudemire, Pau Gasol, Marc Gasol, Serge Ibaka, Zach Randolph. Granted, some of those guys will be in their 30s by 2015, but the fact that Monroe would even be considered a potential top 30 player in the league by that point speaks volumes about how much his stock rose over the course of his rookie season. Remember, it’s not as if Monroe was a can’t-miss prospect when the Pistons drafted him. Pre-draft, no one considered his ceiling close to those of DeMarcus Cousins, Evan Turner or Derrick Favors, and Monroe was better than all three players as a rookie. Hell, Golden State didn’t even think he was a better prospect than Ekpe Udoh. Then, after a Summer League and preseason where he lacked aggression and looked to be a ways away from contributing, followed by a first six weeks of the season when he shot below 40 percent and got his shot blocked an outrageously high percentage of the time, it wasn’t even clear at the time if he could become a reliable rotation contributor as a rookie based on those early returns. David Thorpe of ESPN.com called him ‘the most disappointing rookie‘ (Insider required) in late November. Then, very quickly, Monroe figured things out, earned regular minutes and, eventually, a starting job that he’d never relinquish. By the end of the season, Thorpe had put him on his All-Rookie First Team ahead of Cousins.

It’s probably not fair to expect Monroe to continue to improve as rapidly as he did over the course of his rookie season, but I agree with Ziller’s analysis above: there are only one or two young big men I’d rather have for the next 10 years than Monroe.

58 Comments

  • Sep 21, 20119:23 am
    by Murph

    Reply

    “ZILLER: Monroe would be No. 2 on my list of centers under the age of 22 that I’d want most. (I mean, he’s no DeAndre Jordan, but …”

    Monroe had a much, much better rookie year than Jordan, for a much better team than Jordan’s.

    Monroe had many more points, rebounds, assists and steals per game than Jordan, in their rookie years.  And Monroe’s +/- numbers on the court blew Jordan’s away.   And the Pistons were far better than the Clippers were in Jordan’s first year.

    (Jordan did have more blocks and a higher FG% than Monroe in their first years.)

    I wouldn’t trade Monroe for DeAndre Jordan in a million years.

    • Sep 21, 20111:37 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Did you really not catch the sarcasm there?

      • Sep 21, 20111:47 pm
        by Murph

        Reply

        Hey…you never can tell with these idiot sports writers. 

        If that was meant to be sarcasm on Ziller’s part, then it was over my head.  Hopefully, you are correct and Ziller’s comment isn’t as dumb as I originally took it to be.

        Was khandor’s comment (see below) meant to be sarcasm also?

      • Sep 21, 20112:10 pm
        by Patrick Hayes

        Reply

        Ziller is one of the best writers out there on NBA topics.

      • Sep 21, 20112:23 pm
        by khandor

        Reply

        IMO, there was no intended sarcasm on Ziller’s behalf.

        • Sep 21, 20112:29 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          If you are right, my bad. It just seemed to me like sarcasm.

          • Sep 21, 20112:54 pm
            by khandor

            @ tarsier,
            No problem. IMO, Ziller actually values a highly effective still young Center like DeAndre Jordan even though others in the hoops community might not. As Jordan continues to mature there is no reason to believe that he is incapable of developing into a Tyson Chandler-type player at the heart – i.e. defensively and in terms of rebounding – of a very good NBA team.

          • Sep 21, 20113:21 pm
            by tarsier

            Is it just me or is Tyson Chandler now possibly the most overrated player in the league. He is a good defender and a below average offensive player. He has pretty decent basketball IQ and probably gives slightly above average intangibles. Certainly an above average player. Probably about an average starter. After playing an important role in one championship, suddenly he’s the gold standard for bigs who aren’t superstar-level scorers? It’s the James Posey effect all over again. Chandler is almost guaranteed to get a big contract (probably from Dallas) that will most likely be regrettable within a year. I like the guy, but he was in the perfect situation and got all the right breaks. In a vacuum, it would be a tossup between him and Okafor.

          • Sep 21, 20113:34 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            It’s not just you. It’s a product of his role in the Mavs’ playoff success and the fact that there are so few bigs who can rebound, block shots and defend. I think Chandler is destined to be overpaid, probably by someone like Colangelo in Toronto that desperately needs some semblance of a defensive presence.

            But I will say this about Chandler: the defensive impact he’s made on teams has been immense.

            NOH went from 19th before Chandler to 14th then 7th in defensive rating his first two seasons there.

            Charlotte went from 7th to 1st after getting him. Dallas went from 12th to 8th.

            I think his skillset and intelligence played a big role in those jumps, but his age and injury history would make me really leery of signing him. But that being said, I’d definitely overpay a big like Chandler over a wing like Posey 10 times out of 10.

          • Sep 21, 20114:12 pm
            by khandor

            @ tarsier,
            Chandler is the epitome of a niche player with tremendous value … if the circumstances are right with a specific team. To the right team, he is worth every pennie of his contract. To the wrong team, however, without the right circumstances to fit his fit, he is not worth a big money long term contract.
            Comparing Chandler to Okafor, however, is not sound … since Emeka is simply not a similar player to Tyson, even though they each play the Center position.
            Chandler is the type of frequently “erratic” Center who can put the right team over the top; while Okafor is the type of mostly “stable” Center who can help a team become more solid for a number of years, but without having truly legitimate title aspirations … unless there are other multi-dimensional superstars on its roster.

          • Sep 22, 201111:19 am
            by khandor

            @ tarsier,
            On the subject of whether or not Tom Ziller’s original comment, re: the relative value of DeAndre Jordan vs Greg Monroe, was intended to be sarcastic, I now stand corrected … based on an email exchange which I had with Tom last night and earlier this morning. IMO, it’s important to acknowledge one’s own errors. :-)

  • Sep 21, 201110:04 am
    by max

    Reply

    I have the gut feeling that at least on DEFENSE Greg Monroe is better than Amare.Pair Monroe with a young,athletic Center and you have a playoff caliber frontcourt.I know,I might overrate him a bit or I am too excited but that’s still better than being pissed off about the situation all day.

    • Sep 21, 201110:09 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      “Pair Monroe with a young,athletic Center and you have a playoff caliber frontcourt.”

      I don’t disagree with that, but how many young, athletic true centers are actually out there? Center is the hardest position to fill because there is so little depth overall in quality NBA-level centers. It would be fantastic if someone fell into Detroit’s lap who fit that description, but chances are Monroe is going to be their center for the foreseeable future.

      • Sep 21, 201111:53 am
        by Shane

        Reply

        If we get a top 5 pick in the next draft, there will be tons of ridiculously good centers

        • Sep 21, 20112:15 pm
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          There are young bigs in next year’s draft potentially, no doubt. But I have a problem with the word ‘center.’ I don’t think any of next year’s big man prospects are necessarily ‘centers’ either. Sullinger is short and not a rim protector. Perry Jones is probably better suited on the wing even though he’s 6-11. John Henson is a shot blocker but he also weighs like 200 pounds. Who knows when some of the potential one and doners like Anthony Davis and Andre Drummond will be physically strong enough to contribute.

          The Pistons obviously need more depth up front. My point is just that there’s a good chance that they won’t find someone more suited to play center than Monroe. Everyone should be OK with that too. It would be an awesome luxury to have a big, shot blocking true center who allowed Monroe to play PF. But if you look around the NBA, the chances of the Pistons landing that type of player are slim. Through free agency or trades, the market for those types is extremely competitive and in the draft, it’s rare you get a sure thing big man even with a high pick.

  • Sep 21, 201110:21 am
    by max

    Reply

    @Patrick Hayes: Yeah,I know finding this Center is what maybe 90% of the teams in the NBA are trying to do.No doubt about that.
    But I have a question.Do you think a player like Josh Smith would be a good fit to Monroe?Because I have the feeling that such a frontcourt is outplayed by a bigger frontcourt.I ask this because J-Smith is the player alot of Pistons fans would love to trade for.This would be like a copy of the Atlanta Hawks frontcourt.I don’t know if that would be the perfect scenario.

    • Sep 21, 201110:32 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Well, first of all, I don’t think the Pistons have the assets to trade for Smith unless they are willing to give up Monroe or Brandon Knight in the deal, along with probably next year’s first rounder. Smith is an All-Star level talent who is signed long-term to a reasonable deal. If Atlanta decides to trade him, there will be a lot of teams making competitive offers for him and I don’t see the Hawks having much interest in anything Detroit has outside of Monroe or Knight.

      But I do realize that a lot of Pistons fans have long coveted Smith and I honestly think that he’d form a great frontcourt with Monroe. Smith blocks shots, rebounds, defends and he’s one of the best finishers in basketball, so Monroe’s passing ability would really compliment Smith offensively. I don’t think Smith/Monroe would be too small at all. I mean, they’d be too small to guard Dwight Howard, but who is really big enough to guard Dwight anyway? They’d be great against most frontcourts in the league.

  • Sep 21, 201110:25 am
    by max

    Reply

    Oh and in addition: A lot of these young centers are drafted in the second round.DeAndre Jordan,Timofey Mozgov,the Blazers have this young guy Johnson I think are all second rounders.I don’t want to say that they are a perfect fits or even good enough to compete in the NBA but there are there and Dumars did not draft a single one of this kind of player.I know that might be an old story but I find it shocking that we don’t even TRY to find this guy.
     

    • Sep 21, 201110:39 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Well, for every DeAndre Jordan or Mozgov, there are dozens of bigs taken in the second round who can’t play. Consider these names: Solomon Alabi, Hassan Whiteside, Jerome Jordan, Gani Lawal, Ahmad Nivins, Goran Suton, Dexter Pittman, Jarvis Varnado, Tiny Gallon, Ryan Richards, Hamady N’Diaye, Derrick Caracter. All are big men drafted in 2009 and 2010, none of them have shown they can even be average rotation players, let alone good players. I think teams quite often reach for bigs in the second round, but percentage-wise, you have a very small chance of actually finding a hidden gem with that kind of strategy.

      • Sep 21, 201110:48 am
        by max

        Reply

        Well,the percentage for finding this player is even lower when only drafting guards and wings and don’t taking the chance on such guys :P Personly I think second rounders are meant to be potential or ‘experimental’ picks.I wouldn’t waste a first rounder,of course.But where is the difference if Singler or White bust compared to the Lawal,Whiteside,Alabai etc. busts.The only thing I could imagine is that by drafting a big player people often want to keep this guy even if it is obvious that they aren’t made to be NBA players just because of the height and athelticism,while small players are view more realistic. Call it the ‘Amir Johnson Phenomenon’ ?

      • Sep 21, 201112:40 pm
        by khandor

        Reply

        IMO, time will eventually prove that it was a mistake on your part to include the names of Hassan Whiteside and Dexter Pittman with the other less-than stellar big men taken recently in the 2nd round of the NBA Draft.
        Similarly …
        IMO, time will eventually prove that:
        i. It is a mistake in basketball judgment for anyone to think Greg Monroe is likely to develop into a dominant Big Man in the NBA sometime in the foreseeable future;
        and,
        ii. It is far more likely to be the case that Greg Monroe will develop into a highly serviceable Big Man – ala Dale Davis – without ever becoming a full-blown “star” player like Amare Stoudemire and Pau Gasol.
         

        • Sep 21, 20111:31 pm
          by Murph

          Reply

          So you think Whiteside and Pittman will be “stellar”, while you think Monroe will be “serviceable”???  Did I read that correctly?

          You realize that Whiteside and Pittman scored a combined total of 2 points last season, don’t you?  That’s not 2 ppg…that’s 2 points…as in one basket…combined…for their entire seasons.

          • Sep 21, 20111:54 pm
            by khandor

            @ Murph,
            1. No, you did not read that correctly. I said that the other Big Men listed by Patrick fall into the less-than stellar category, IMO. Although it might not seem this way to you, this observation is actually not the exact same thing as saying that, “in contrast, Whiteside and Pittman should be considered as fitting into the stellar category of young Big Men, IMO.”
            2. The question isn’t, “How many points have Monroe, Whiteside and Pittman scored to this point in their respective NBA careers?” The question is, “Based on their respective basketball careers to-date – including high school, college, semi-pro and pro – does Monroe project to eventually become a better Big Man in the NBA compared to Whiteside and Pittman?” I have given you my answer to this question. [i.e. Unfortunately for Pistons, no, he does not.]

          • Sep 21, 20112:21 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            @khandor:

            Just stop man. That’s enough. Whiteside and Pittman fell to the second round for a reason — Whiteside is kind of a head case with absolutely no refinement whatsoever to his offensive game who played at a small college while Pittman weighed like a million pounds most of his college career and couldn’t stay on the court. Monroe, meanwhile, was the No. 1 high school prospect in the country as a senior, he was a very good big man on a very good college team in a very good league and he was a lottery pick. Whiteside and Pittman obviously, obviously are nowhere in the same stratosphere when it comes to basketball skill, basketball potential, upside, whatever. Monroe has a skillset — he rebounds, he gets steals, he finishes around the basket at a high percentage, he runs the floor and he’s an excellent passer. Whiteside and Pittman’s skillset consists of “those guys are pretty tall.” Sure, if about a dozen longshot things went right for either guy, there’s a slim chance one or the other would develop into a useful or better player.

          • Sep 21, 20112:32 pm
            by khandor

            @ Patrick,
            You are certainly entitled to your own opinion about the long term projections for Monroe, Whiteside and Pittman. My projections are certainly different than yours. Time will tell, however, which one of our projections eventually proves to be the most accurate. If I am proven wrong, then, I will gladly acknowledge it. Will you do the same? Monroe is certainly off to a better start than either Whiteside or Pittman. Where one eventually finishes a marathon however is much more important than where one is after only the first mile.

          • Sep 21, 20112:48 pm
            by tarsier

            @khandor
            Wow, that prediction would have been like predicting that nay given player from last year’s second round would be better as a rookie than Evan Turner. If you had happened to get the 1 in 30 odds and chose Fields, you would have been right. But anyone else and you would have looked like an idiot.
            It’s not that you are necessarily wrong. It’s that your odds are horrible.

          • Sep 21, 20113:04 pm
            by khandor

            @ tarsier,
            At long odds I would not have chosen any of last year’s 2nd Rounders to be a better player than Evan Turner after their 1st year in the NBA. However, when it comes to determining which players will eventually be viewed as the best ones available in a certain draft year – i.e. after a number of years have gone by – then it’s an entirely different proposition altogether.
            e.g. If given the choice of taking Pittman and Whiteside vs Monroe, then, I would have no problem, whatsoever, taking Dexter and/or Hassan … not because I think Monroe is going to be a “bad” player – because I do not feel this way at all – but because I see the early signs that Pittman and Whiteside may, in fact, have greater upside down-the-road than Monroe, when you consider their respective positions and specific skill-sets.

  • Sep 21, 201112:23 pm
    by Jodi Jezz

    Reply

    Pretty good article!.. I agree with everything you said about Monroe, i think he would rapidly increase in skill if we trade for a defensive center to pair with Monroe… I think someone like Emeka Okafor would do wonders for our Pistons team…Maybe a three team trade that involved Rip Hamilton and Emeka Okafor could do the trick…I would love to have Josh Smith too, but I would rather play him at the SF position and in addition we still find a center to play along side Monroe…

  • Sep 21, 20111:40 pm
    by neutes

    Reply

    Isn’t Monroe already better than Amare? I can’t imagine Monroe is going to get worse and Amare better by 2015.

    • Sep 21, 20111:44 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      No, Monroe is not already better than Amare. Last season, while he progressed considerably, his defense was really pretty bad. Comparable to Amare’s, and his offense was nowhere near as good.

      • Sep 21, 20111:53 pm
        by neutes

        Reply

        That’s odd. Wins Produced and Win Score both tell me Monroe was better. Monroe shot a higher percentage, turned it over less, stole it more, rebounded better, and committed fewer fouls. But yeah, Amare scores more points so he must be better. Oh and he’s getting paid more, that makes him better too.

        • Sep 21, 20112:29 pm
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          Compare some of the stats:

          • PER – Amar’e 23/Monroe 18
          • Reb% – Monroe 16.5/Amar’e 14.5
          • Block% – Monroe 1.6/Amar’e 3.8
          • Assist % – Monroe 7.5/Amar’e 13.2
          • Win Shares – Monroe 6.6/Amar’e 8.0
          • O Rtg – Monroe 120/Amar’e 109
          • D Rtg – Monroe 109/Amar’e 108

          I mean, it’s pretty clear that Amar’e is the better player right now. It’s not just that he scores more, it’s that he creates his own shot while Monroe has to have shots created for him (or at least he did as a rookie). Amar’e puts pressure on a defense, creates open shots for others by drawing that attention, etc. And check the huge jump in Amar’e's assist percentage last season — dude became a much more willing passer.

          Monroe is a better rebounder. Both are pretty bad defensively. Amar’e is a better shot blocker. Monroe will eventually be a better player, but he’s not there yet.

          • Sep 21, 20112:37 pm
            by khandor

            @ Patrick,
            re: Monroe will eventually be a better player, but he’s not there yet.
            When all is said and done, at the end of their respective careers, are you suggesting that you really think Greg Monroe is going to be considered to have been a better basketball player than Amare Stoudemire? … because, IMO, this eventuality is highly unlikely to happen.

          • Sep 21, 20113:47 pm
            by neutes

            just to nitpick you went with total win shares there, which given the minutes advantage doesn’t tell a huge story. Monroe did outproduce Amare on a per48 win share pace. He also outproduced him according to Wins Produced in both total and per48: http://wagesofwins.net/cool-posters/ranking-every-player-for-every-team-in-the-nba-for-2010-2011/

            I’m not a believer in shot creation. I realize Monroe would have had a lower FG% had he forced more shots, but shouldn’t he be rewarded for playing within himself? You can’t knock him for being efficient that makes no sense. Amare could have been more efficient had he taken only good shots as well, but he didn’t, yet he gets graded higher for that?

            you also left out the disparity between steals, turnovers, and personal fouls between the two in your comparison. Monroe created more possessions than Amare, and wasted fewer.

          • Sep 21, 20113:58 pm
            by tarsier

            I think such stats are useful and can help in a full assessment or players. But you don’t want to go exclusively by such numbers or you will have a very screwed up view of the game ( as Hollinger is constantly accused of). So yeah, the rankings there will generally tel you who is better than who. But I’m doubting that I am the only one here who thinks that Boozer is better than Ronnie Brewer in spite of the numbers on that site rating them otherwise.

          • Sep 21, 20114:05 pm
            by neutes

            well first off you have to take it in context. i won’t argue boozer is better than brewer, ever. what wins produced does is compare players at positions, and then it’s basically up to the individual to assess the rest. because brewer is an above average SG, and SG’s on average don’t contribute a whole lot other than scoring, which on a possession based metric is going to look bad, it’s saying more that brewer is much much better than hamilton or gordon as opposed to saying he’s better than boozer, as boozer is weighted against other PF’s.

            also were comparing mornoe’s season stats, which also is a bit silly. if you compare his 2nd half i’m sure he comes out looking equal to or much better than Amare in just about every metric, including PER.

          • Sep 21, 20114:21 pm
            by neutes

            As far as I know PER and Win Shares aren’t position adjusted. Wins Produced is so when you look at Brewer and Boozer what it’s really saying is:

            Brewer was better than the average SG by a wider margin than Boozer was better than the average PF, and when you think about it – it makes sense.

            Now put that in a team context where you want players that are better than average at every position, and what it’s saying is because Brewer is better than average at his position he contributed more at his position than Boozer did at his. Also Taj Gibson is closer to average than Bogans, so when Boozer is out and Gibson is in the drop off isn’t as much as when Bogans was in over Brewer. The Bulls just failed to assess the SG spot properly, and most likely are still clueless.

          • Sep 22, 201112:51 am
            by Mike Payne

            Hey Patrick, I know I have a bad habit of chiming in only when I disagree with something, but I thought this contribution might be helpful when using advanced stats to compare players on different teams.  Stats like win shares and o/d-ratings hold very little water across teams.  They are, in effect, helpful almost entirely in a team context.  I’ll explain:
             
            “Win Shares – Monroe 6.6/Amar’e 8.0″
             
            Win Shares assigns a single number to each player for his contributions for the year for his team.  The Knicks won 42 games, of which 8.0 were assigned to Stoudemire.  The Pistons won 30 games, of which 6.6 were assigned to Monroe.
             
            Re: o/d ratings– these are also important in the team context, when a player is active on court.  If one player has a 120 o-rating on team X and player 2 has a 130 o-rating on team Y, it tells nothing to compare those two measurements.  O/D-ratings are only effective when comparing players on the same team.  However, a beneficial unit of measurement which is not often considered is o/d rating margin– an area where Monroe was the clear leader of the Pistons, and this unit of measure can hold a bit of value when comparing a players importance to their respective teams against eachother.
             
            Ben Gulker and I have discussed running a series on DetroitBadBoys where we look at the value and weakness of different statistics when evaluating players objectively.  Look for it soon-ish.  But for this comparison, between Stoudemire and Monroe, win shares and o/d ratings don’t carry much weight, unless you look at o/d margin, when considering who had a greater impact on their team in 2010-11.
             
             

          • Sep 22, 20118:59 am
            by Patrick Hayes

            @Mike:

            You’re right. I just copied and pasted. The stats you mention certainly don’t prove anything. However, the assist/block % stats certainly favor Amar’e while Monroe is better in rebounding/steals. And I think it’s pretty clear that Amar’e is the far superior scorer.

            My point was just that Stoudemire is a better player than Monroe right now, even if there are stats like WP out there that favor Monroe.

          • Sep 22, 201111:06 am
            by khandor

            #1. A good point was just made by MP, re: the lack of meaning involved with comparing certain stats for different players who work for different teams, and it’s important to recognize good points made, regardless of who actually makes them. :-) If someone was to try and compare the individual contributions made last season by Monroe and Stoudemire to their respective teams, based strictly on a statistical formula – e.g. Win Shares, or Wins Produced, etc. – which of the following two simplistic methods would yield a more meaningful comparison/assessment of their individual ability, as an all around basketball player, within the context of their team? Option 1 – Stoudemire -> 42 wins / 8.0 = 5.25 vs Monroe -> 30 wins / 6.6 = 4.5; or, Option 2 – Stoudemire -> 8.0 / 42 wins = 0.19 vs Monroe -> 6.6 / 30 wins = 0.22

          • Sep 22, 201111:35 am
            by neutes

            Whoa. Khandor with a calculation of some sort. Weird. Monroe accounted for a higher percentage of his team’s wins than Amare did, therefore Monroe more valuable to his team than Amare, therefore Monroe > Amare. Good glad that’s settled. Lol.

          • Sep 22, 20111:47 pm
            by tarsier

            For what it’s worth, here is what I see in your calculations, khandor. Stoudemire last year provided 19% of how good the Knicks were while Monroe provided 22% of how food the Pistons were. So if the Knicks were about as good as the Pistons, by that stat, Monroe would be slightly better than Amare. However, the Knicks were much better than the Pistons. With every team healthy, the Knicks would have been your best bet in the league for a first round upset. Not an incredible team, but much better than a mid-lottery team like Detroit. I would have taken 19% of their power over 22% of Detroit’s any day.

            But this just doesn’t seem like a case where advanced stats are necessary. Maybe if Monroe had been a defensive beast like Amare was an offensive beast. But it is clear to see that they were both weak defensively and Amare is a much better scorer (even if Monroe is better at not accumulating TOs).

            I do expect Monroe to pass Amare within the next two years though. ALthough he probably won’t be seen as superior by most fans for at least three.

          • Sep 22, 20112:26 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            “But this just doesn’t seem like a case where advanced stats are necessary.”

            Voice of reason. Thank you.

          • Sep 23, 20119:15 am
            by khandor

            To those who think Monroe isn’t better than Stoudemire right now but is likely to be become better than Stoudemire in the future,
            1. Please explain a case where you think so-called “advanced stats” are in fact necessary.
            2. To this point, the actual facts are that: i. Stoudemire is a better basketball player than Monroe. ii. There is no reliable indicator which suggests Monroe is likely to develop into a better basketball player than Stoudemire at any point in the future [... aside from Stat's expected gradual decline in production with age once he passes through his physical prime].
            3. IMO, Monroe’s individual skill set thus far resembles that of someone like Sam Perkins … who was a very good college player and developed into a highly serviceable NBAer with a lengthy career but without ever becoming one of the very best Big Men in the league.

        • Sep 21, 20112:38 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          By the way, scoring more is a huge deal when:
          a) by more, you meant about twice as much
          b) you are scoring efficiently at a high percentage

          Like Patrick said, Monroe is better at some things than Stoudemire. But last season, he was at best an average starter. Stoudemire, while flawed, is a regular all-star. But I do have high expectations for the man and think he could definitely exceed his #28 ranking. I am hoping he improves his defense and basically becomes an Al Horford (probably with better passing and worse D).

  • Sep 21, 20111:53 pm
    by tarsier

    Reply

    It’s kinda sad to think that it i exciting for a team to have be their brightest spot be narrowly projected to be a top 30 player as he is in his prime. On average, each team has one top 30 player, and most of them are much higher up the list than 28. 28 is Rondo/Gay kind of territory. Good players but usually a third best player on a true contender. I would hope Monroe could get a bit higher and/or that Detroit keeps stinking it up long enough to get a real superstar.

    • Sep 21, 20112:33 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      The 2012 Draft man. That’s what I keep telling myself. I hope they find another top 30 player in that lottery.

      • Sep 21, 20112:52 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        Another top 30 guy would be nice. But unless they do even better and get a top 10 guy, it’s unlikely they will be returning to contention any time soon. I mean seriously, apart from the 2004 Pistons, what was the last team to win a championship without at least one top 10 player?

        • Sep 21, 20113:07 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          Maybe 1979? More than 30 years ago at least.

          1979-Dennis Johnson???
          80-Kareem/Magic
          81-Bird
          82-Magic/Kareem
          83-Malone/Erving
          84-Bird
          85-Magic/Kareem
          86-Bird
          87-Magic
          88-Magic
          89-Thomas
          90-Thomas
          91-Jordan/Pippen
          92-Jordan/Pippen
          93-Jordan/Pippen
          94-Olajuwon
          95-Olajuwon
          96-Jordan/Pippen
          97-Jordan/Pippen
          98-Jordan/Pippen
          99-Robinson/Duncan
          00-Shaq
          01-Shaq/Kobe
          02-Shaq/Kobe
          03-Duncan
          04-
          05-Duncan
          06-Wade
          07-Duncan
          08-Garnett
          09-Kobe
          10-Kobe/Gasol
          11-Nowitzki

          • Sep 21, 20113:14 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            Well, I’m just trying to crawl before I walk. Yeah, they likely need a top 10 player to ever become a title contender again. But they just need more talent to become relevant again, so I’d gladly take another top 30 guy. I look at it this way — maybe Harrison Barnes or someone like that falls in their lap and he’s a legit star. If so, great. If not, hopefully they get a guy who is at least potentially a fringe All-Star prospect. Then, with that player, Monroe and hopefully one or two out of the Knight/Daye/Stuckey/Jerebko group developing into a top 70 or 80 player, they’ll at least have assets again. So if they don’t end up hitting it rich with a franchise player in the draft, at least they will have a collection of young talent to package with the massive expiring contracts they’ll have in a couple years just in case an unhappy top 10 player is available via trade.

          • Sep 21, 20113:25 pm
            by tarsier

            True, as long as cap space isn’t wasted on mediocre players a la BG/CV, such a core could make acquiring the needed superstar possible.

  • Sep 21, 20112:22 pm
    by Murph

    Reply

    “The question is, “Based on their respective basketball careers to-date – including high school, college, semi-pro and pro – does Monroe project to eventually become a better Big Man in the NBA compared to Whiteside and Pittman?” I have given you my answer to this question. [i.e. Unfortunately for Pistons, no, he does not.]”

    Well, let me say this:  If  Whiteside and/or Pittman turn out to be stellar, or even just better than Monroe, while Monroe turns out to be just serviceabe….then I’ll be the first to admit you’re a genius.  Because, based on last season and their college careers, nothing indicates that that will be the case.

    In contrast, if the opposite is true, and Monroe turns into a star, while Whiteside and Pittman continue to struggle, then….well….your comment will look a little nutty.

    • Sep 21, 20112:47 pm
      by khandor

      Reply

      @ Murph,
      No problem. IMO, it is only a matter of time before Whiteside turns into a highly productive Big Man in the NBA, and one of the steals of the 2010 Draft. Pittman, OTOH, is adjusting to a position change and should eventually become a very effective PF.
       

      • Sep 21, 20114:38 pm
        by Murph

        Reply

        BTW, tarsier was correct about Ziller being sarcastic in the Monroe/Jordan comparison.  If you go through his 100 players, Monroe is listed at #28, while Jordan is #52 on the list.

        I might have place Monroe a little better than 28, but in general, that seems about right.

        • Sep 21, 20115:01 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          Although, that doesn’t quite prove it as I’m not sure how they rank the players and there seems to be a lot of disagreement between the authors of the list (Klay Thompson?????????).

  • Sep 21, 20112:52 pm
    by Saul

    Reply

    If we’re going by all young big men in the league then I’d rather have Blake  Griffin. Monroe will be plenty good though.

    • Sep 21, 20113:12 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Yeah I anticipate some good MVP battles between James, Durant, Howard, and Griffin. Unless CP3 can get to a better situation, I’m not seeing anyone else being a regular challenger for the award. But you never know when a random Rose-esque scenario might pop up where a perfect storm makes one player a much better candidate than his admittedly high talent alone could make him.

  • Sep 22, 20114:36 am
    by jprime18

    Reply

    MONROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOE

    will be a force to be reckoned with. Can’t wait to see him and Knight play together. If we get another stud in the draft next year, watch out.

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