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Greg Monroe is making himself harder and harder to ignore

It’s not a secret to Detroit fans that Greg Monroe is having All-Star level production this season. All eyes have been on him, frankly, because it’s frightening for our eyes to wander elsewhere on the court.

But Pistons fans also knew Monroe was good last year, even though much of the rest of the basketball-watching world failed to notice. Monroe’s number this year, though, make it impossible to ignore him. Sports Illustrated’s Zack Lowe:

But you can’t ignore what a force Monroe has been on offense, and how he is getting those points and assists this season compared to last. Monroe is attempting twice as many mid-range jumpers as he did last season, and while you don’t want any big with his skills around the rim to get too jumper-happy (hi, Josh Smith), Monroe made just 12 shots from 10 feet and out all of last season, according to Hoopdata. He’s made nine such shots already this season. Any floor-spacing from a big man is helpful, and Monroe has already used the threat of his improved mid-range shot to build a face-up, off-the-dribble game. In torching the Bucks for 32 points and 16 boards on Thursday, Monroe gave Andrew Bogut fits with a face-up attack of jab steps, spin moves and sudden bursts to the basket.

Monroe isn’t explosive as a vertical leaper, but he has nimble feet, and he’s fast moving forward in the air even if he doesn’t jump high. He can squeeze through a small space and have that lefty layup on the glass before your bigger, more explosive center can quite reach the ball.

It’s great to see Monroe get some national recognition. His on-court production has been hugely overshadowed by the Pistons’ off-court discord and the unwatchability of several under-performing players. He’s simply one of the two or three best young big men in the game right now.

10 Comments

  • Jan 13, 20122:22 pm
    by druhouse

    Reply

    It was great to watch him tear up the Bucks last night.

  • Jan 13, 20122:57 pm
    by Adam

    Reply

    Not that I necessarily think they are strong indicators of actual value, but John Hollinger’s PER ranking has Greg Monroe #5 in the league and the best big man in the league. Interesting.

    • Jan 13, 20123:28 pm
      by Victor Fontana

      Reply

      He’s #1 among Centers if you consider him a C. He’s number one among PFs if you consider him a PF.

      Most amazing, he’s behind Ginobili (only 5 games sample), LeBron, Kobe and Durant. Considering the Manu’s sample size and injury, I’d say that Monroe stands #4 right now. 

      Not so sure he’ll keep posting numbers efficiently enough to keep his PER above 26, but – from a statistical standpoint – it’s an impressive start for a 2nd year player for sure.

  • Jan 13, 20123:13 pm
    by Daye and Knight

    Reply

    If Monroe keeps this up and Knight continues to develop we’ll be in OK shape after a few trips to the lotto, we just need a big man to play center so Monroe can slide to the 4…where he belongs. Great offensive moves down low but can be a defense liability guarding other more physical centers (And Patrick, Monroe playing OK defense against Bogut doesn’t justify that he can guard other centers, with Bogut missing close to 2 weeks for personal reasons prior to the game and the fact that his arm still isn’t right after that scary fall a few years ago). With Monroe and Knight we at least have 2 nice pieces to build around

    • Jan 13, 20123:49 pm
      by Shane

      Reply

      We need a big man and small forward from this upcoming draft if possible. Then the 2013 draft we should try to get Shabazz for SG. Then we may be playoff calibur after 1 more season of developing the players

      • Jan 13, 20124:26 pm
        by Daye and Knight

        Reply

        If we were able to draft Harrison Barnes and acquire a big man via trade to pair up next to Greg Monroe (Anthony Randolph might be available and his PER suggest he has plenty of upside in steals and blocks) then we would be in great shape after a few years of seasoning our young guys. That’s not to say Randolph is available its just a suggestion. If anything, assuming we get the top draft pick we may be able to draft Anthony Davis and pair him next to Monroe, maybe slide JJ to SF and have our back court feature Brandon Knight and Rodney Stuckey. Only problem with that is we just overpaid Prince and making that kind of money and coming off the bench…something about that doesn’t seem right…same with Gordon, but I think we’ll be able to trade Gordon at some point anyways. If not, slide him to the bench and make him our 6th man and hope he can bring fire power off the bench (a BIG assumption)

        • Jan 13, 20125:15 pm
          by Shane

          Reply

          I would prefer Drummond and a sf.. Drummond has a solid work ethic and a great personality from what I have read.

  • Jan 13, 20125:24 pm
    by vic

    Reply

    I say draft Drummond, or Davis, or Sullinger, or Robinson.
    They + Monroe will be 4 and 5.

    Put JJ at 3 and put underperformers on the BENCH no matter their paycheck. Even if Damien Wilkens is producing, start him at the 3 over JJ and Prince.

    The rest can all compete for 6th man of the year and make our team deep. Start the best 2-way players that dont give you size/matchup/defense problems. IE no STARTING CHANCE EVER (unless there are injuries/life changing alterations) for Bynum, Gordon, Maxiell, Villanueva, Daye. These can all play their role as sparks off the bench. If Lawrence Frank is a smart coach he needs to stay decisive like he was when we won our first game and forget contracts/reputations. Even now, I would start Ben Wallace, even if he only played 20 mins.

    • Jan 13, 20128:30 pm
      by Victor Fontana

      Reply

      Sullinger is great, but he’s not a defensive presence… Sullinger and Monroe would make one of the greatest pair of Bbal IQ on the paint the NBA has seen in a few years, but would block zero people.

      I say get another 1st rounder via trade and draft Davis and Gilchrist. Then we could hire coach Cal to finish his job polishing Brandon Knight… hehehe

  • Jan 13, 20126:30 pm
    by Daye and Knight

    Reply

    Wizards just made Blatche available…should we offer them Joe Dumars and a conditional 2nd round draft pick?

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