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Piston of the Week: Greg Monroe

Piston of the Week (1/20/2013 – 1/26/2013): Greg Monroe, again.

20.3 points, 9.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and one steal per game, 52 field-goal percentage

Another day, another dollar.

It’s pretty obvious that this award is Greg Monroe’s to lose for the foreseeable future (unless Andre Drummond played more minutes, but why would that ever happen?)

Monroe was the best scorer and not so surprisingly the best distributor on the roster this week. Highlighted by Friday’s brilliant 31 point, 12 rebound effort against the Heat, the guy just put together a strong week — sans his struggles against Joakim Noah and the Bulls.

He’s still not as strong a defensive player as you’d hope a third-year big man would be, but offensively, he’s just plain better than everyone else on this team. Guys like Tayshaun Prince and Rodney Stuckey are definitely capable of scoring consistently — I think, right? Right?? — but only Monroe is capable of  having an NBA offense run through him.

There are times where the lack of a point guard, or heck, teammates who know how to feed the post, has an effect on him. There are times where an obvious lack of shooters and floor spacing make it pretty easy for defenses to plug up the paint too, but Monroe has still found a way to be solid.

Here’s the most infuriating thing — even when Monroe is playing well, the rest of the team somehow finds a way to go into the tank. The Pistons are 3-6 when Monroe scores 20-plus points, which is amazing in a horrible and tragic way. Losing when your best is at his makes little sense. Monroe has had a number of good games, but let’s just look at three really good ones real quick:

  • Jan. 25 at Miami — 31 points, 12 rebounds, one steal, three turnovers and 12-for-17 shooting.
  • Dec. 19 at Toronto — 35 points, 10 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 blocks, one turnover and 14-for-22 shooting.
  • Nov. 17 at Sacramento — 21 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists, two turnovers and 8-for-15 shooting.

Those are three uber-efficient and well-balanced games, and the Pistons lost all three.

It’s not really possible to explain. Guys just seem to check out and ball watch when Monroe really gets it going. Maybe that’s because when he’s cooking, he’s not passing — but considering the guys he can pass to, do you blame him?

It’s frustrating, it’s confusing, it’s Detroit basketball.

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