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Joe Dumars isn’t ready to call Greg Monroe an All-Star yet

Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press asks a question I’ve been hoping someone would ask Joe Dumars for a while now:

“Should Greg Monroe have been an All-Star this season?”

After taking that moment to consider, one would think the Pistons president of basketball operations would have enthusiastically answered in the affirmative for his second-year center.

But Dumars finally said Monroe, who is averaging 16.7 points and 9.8 rebounds per game, still has some work to do before being mentioned among the NBA’s best big men.

“I wouldn’t mention him right now, simply because he’s not there yet, but I will say this: We really like the direction he’s headed in,” Dumars said. “We know he has to continue to get better. When you have young players, they are either headed in the right direction, they’re stagnant or they’re headed in the wrong direction. Greg Monroe is headed in the right direction.”

I’ve ranted enough on this topic over the last few weeks, so I won’t go into too much detail here. But what just seems crazy to me is the Pistons have never really shied away from ratcheting up expectations for young players, particularly with Rodney Stuckey, who has been compared to everyone from Chauncey Billups to Russell Westbrook by people close to the organization during his career. Even this year with Brandon Knight, I’ve heard (and been annoyed by) the Isiah Thomas whispers by George Blaha, among a few others. In Monroe, they have a player who is actually producing at a level commensurate with his potential, and suddenly everyone close to the team is taking a toned down, rational approach to talking about young players? This is your guy! Sell him!

I don’t know if Monroe is an All-Star. I certainly agree with Dumars that he has areas of his game that still need work and that hopefully he stays hungry and puts in that work. But statistically, Monroe stacks up with any center in the East not named Howard. He’s really, really close production-wise to Roy Hibbert, who is an All-Star. Part of me gets Dumars taking that understated approach to praising Monroe but part of me also wishes the organization would scream out loud and tell everyone how great Monroe has played. As we saw last year when Monroe got jobbed in end of the year rookie awards, he certainly suffered from a lack of awareness about his talent and what he produced.

11 Comments

  • Feb 24, 20129:24 am
    by neutes

    Reply

    I wonder what direction he thinks Daye is headed?

  • Feb 24, 201210:46 am
    by Jodi Jezz

    Reply

    Monroe is good but he needs to get better on the defensive end of the floor before we call him an All Star…

    • Feb 24, 201211:24 am
      by MrBlockedShot

      Reply

      Yes, I totally agree. Maybe making him an all-star would make more harm than good. He has still to improve his defense a lot. His offensive game is much better than last year´s but no way it´s enough to be considered an all-star. No cheap nominees please…

      • Feb 24, 201211:37 am
        by Patrick Hayes

        Reply

        Cheap nominees? His numbers are almost identical to Hibbert’s, except Monroe gets more steals and Hibbert gets more blocks.

        I agree, I’d love to see him improve on D. But with all of the injuries to centers in the East like Horford, Noah, Bogut and Hawes, Monroe is deserving. It wouldn’t be a cheap nominee. I’m fine with Hibbert getting the nod, but Monroe is right there with him.

        • Feb 24, 20122:32 pm
          by Thom

          Reply

          Monroe’s numbers are BETTER than Hibbert’s pretty much across the board (blocks aside) and that’s with Moose having to create most of his own offense. He’s currently 22nd in the NBA in isolation points per play, which is really, really impressive, especially for a center. Hibbert has executed exactly two plays in isolation to date this season, failing to score both times. Hibbert has guys like Danny Granger, Paul George, David West, Darren Collison, and George Hill to take a lot of pressure off of him offensively. Monroe, aside from Stuckey’s production during the 7 of 9 streak, hasn’t had any consistent production from his teammates and has had to do practically everything himself offensively.

          • Feb 24, 20122:47 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            Yep, I agree 100 percent with you. Monroe is better than Hibbert and I think should be an All-Star. But I understand the politics of it all. Their numbers aren’t THAT drastically far apart and Hibbert is on a winning team, so I understand his selection. Just wish Monroe’s organization would be a little more forceful in talking up his many virtues. Other teams do this for their good players all the time.

  • Feb 24, 201211:51 am
    by brgulker

    Reply

    Holy crap, I agree with Joe Dumars.

    /sign of the apocalypse

  • Feb 25, 20123:14 am
    by Max

    Reply

    The problem is that you are quoting Dumars against every source and whisper in the organization.  Find me the quote where Dumars said Knight was Isiah or Stuckey was Billups.  Dumars never said anyone was anyone.  My take is that Dumars would personally find it in poor taste to lobby for a player’s all star consideration and, if so, I’d agree with him.
    BTW: Bill Simmons wrote a vicious article on Grantland where he just blasted Danny Ainge and I found myself thinking while reading some of it that Dumars is right to limit his exposure to the media because anything he says will be used against him.   How often are quotes used for vindication or to celebrate a man by writers anyway?  It would be one thing if most GMs spoke openly and often to the media but most don’t.  Ainge talks to the media very often, but does this really gain him or the Celtics anything?  It certainly provides a lot of ammo when someone wants to slam him.

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