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Greg Monroe serving as Brandon Knight’s ‘pick-and-roll middle man’

Zach Lowe of Grantland:

Monroe has always been a skilled high-post passer, but this season Detroit is asking him to do more by stepping up the pace of some sets that feature Monroe at the elbow. One favorite: Detroit will run a pick-and-roll on one side of the floor using the non-Monroe big man — usually Jason Maxiell — to set the screen and roll to the hoop. As Maxiell rolls, Monroe will flash from the baseline up to the elbow on the opposite side of the floor, catch a pass from Detroit’s point guard, and fire an immediate bounce pass to Maxiell near the hoop. It’s Lawrence Frank’s way of using Monroe as a pick-and-roll middle man, doing the work Brandon Knight isn’t ready to do consistently. Good stuff.

Last season, Rodney Stuckey took plenty of point-guard duties from Brandon Knight when times got tough. But Knight, to his credit, is doing much more this year.  Still, even with Stuckey coming off the bench, the Pistons aren’t asking Knight to run the offense at all times this year. It’s a huge help the Pistons have a passer as good as Greg Monroe, who’s helping Knight’s gradual process into becoming a complete point guard.


  • Dec 19, 201211:19 am
    by danny


    sounds good but use moose as the screen setter too.  he is able to take his man off the dribble and shot the elbow.  i still do not understand frank.

  • Dec 19, 201212:39 pm
    by frankie d


    i strongly disagree that the play described is “good stuff”. 
    it is  just another example of frank out-smarting himself and the team and devising a play with so many moving parts that it is easily thwarted by good defensive teams.  (i think that is the reason he is so horrible at drawing up plays after time-outs.   usually, the plays involve so many screens and passes that all it takes is one good defensive move or one slow offensive move to blow the play up.)
    that play drives me crazy because it simply gives a defense too many points at which they can stymie the play.
    for instance, too often, monroe gets the ball with very little time on the shot clock and then he is forced to make a hurried, often bad move, barging into a defense that is waiting for him.  when you see monroe make a panicked, rushed drive to the basket, it is usually because he has gotten that pass, the defense has jammed the middle – preventing the pass to the rolling big – and monroe has no other option than to get a shot up on the rim in order to beat the shot clock.
    there are so many easier ways to accomplish the same goal – putting the ball in monroe’s hands and letting him create – that frank’s insistence on creating these too-complex schemes – the other one that drives me crazy is when they run a pick and roll, not to get an easy shot at the rim, but to set up a mid-range jumper on the weak side, a great play if ray allen or paul pierce is waiting for the pass, not so good if rodney stuckey is getting that pass – screams assistant coach who doesn’t understand how things actually work out on the floor.
    for instance, why not just set monroe up on the elbow, dump the ball into him, and let the other guys screen and cut to the basket, without taking 10 seconds to set up a pick and roll that essentially just acts as a way to make an extremely simple pass? 

  • I quite like reading through an article that will make men
    and women think. Also, many thanks for allowing me to comment!

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