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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.

Past Winners


  • Jan 26, 201310:09 pm
    by Brigs


    Lmaoo think we could get mason to say that last line during a game

  • Jan 27, 201312:23 am
    by Quin


    Every time I check the box score and the first three names I see are Jason Maxiell, Tayshaun Prince and Kyle Singler, I’m overcome with sadness.

  • Jan 27, 201312:46 am
    by frankie d


    any coach would die to have a guy like monroe to build his offense around.
    the fact that frank has failed to build even a semblance of a consistent offense around monroe, in two years is a huge indictment of his coaching.
    the pistons have pieces that should allow them to do some very good things, offensively, at the very least.
    the fact that frank has not figured it out yet says all you need to know about him as a coach.
    spacing problems?
    lack of shooters?
    knight…cv…singler…daye…english…middleton….even tayshaun…all guys who can shoot and space the floor. a good coach would have figured out a way to mesh their talents with monroe’s and would have put an offensive team on the court that would function competently, consistently.

  • Jan 27, 20132:44 am
    by piston moribund


    Hmmm, 6 out of 13 weeks.  Not a really good average.  Worse still if you count the fact that the team has a horrible record when he scores more, which means either the team really sucks or having him be the offensive focus is not working.  That would also mean that he is not really the go to guy for this team.  Probably a little of everything. 
    This would seem to contradict the idea that his unique passing ability is better served when he is facilitating chances for his teammates rather then for himself.  He dominated for stretches during the bulls game and then disappeared when the games needed him to step up.  Seems to be filling the stat sheets without getting the results of a W while barely eeking out a double double on some nights.
    A big contrast to Dre who seems to be always making big plays and getting key rebounds and blocks and steals.  Dre really changes the games at times when he is in there while Bullwinkle seems to be missing big free throws and missing assignments when the game is on the line.
    Its all points to the fact that he seems less of a star and more of a decent big man with the ability to complement a star(DRE).

    • Jan 27, 20136:27 am
      by Vic


      Right Monroe is a great 2nd option. Team still needs a pg that can execute, and use Monroe as one of his Biggest weapons

      • Jan 27, 20133:13 pm
        by frankie d


        agree that a pg is the most pressing need.
        however, imho, the biggest issue for monroe is the incompetent coaching.
        remember, if stuckey had not insisted, he’d still be in the starting lineup, helping to clog the middle.  only stuckey’s awareness has allowed the floor spacing singler to start and help make the team a more effective offensive unit.
        there are lots of small, subtle, but important tweaks the coach could make that would make monroe more effective.  it appears that he is slowly starting to do some of those things, but typically, it takes him forever to see problems and make appropriate adjustments.
        monroe has been the same player since high school.  had the same skills and the same deficiencies.  he didn’t just forget how to score and pass.  teams have been doing certain very effective things against him and now it is the pistons’ coach’s task to come up with adjustments that put monroe in a position where he can start doing all the things he’s been doing his entire bb-playing

    • Jan 27, 20136:32 am
      by Vic



      Kyle Lowry- not quite the floor spacer, but a triple double threat at pg is definitely an upgrade
      Hope this rumor is true, hope Joe D is taking a look 

  • Jan 27, 20134:18 am
    by ryan


    Seeing first time all star Jrue Holiday makes me so frustrated. Imagine we’d drafted him instead of Austin Daye even with no other roster changes I think we’d be a playoff squad built on Holiday and Greg Monroe as the foundation. He’d also allow Brandon Knight to play the two guard without any problem.

    • Jan 27, 20133:31 pm
      by frankie d


      not so sure  remember, holliday was a real project coming out of ucla.  he’d never really played the point before, and was basically a rodney stuckey-type combo guard. 
      doug collins coaching has been crucial to his development into a top notch guard.
      (he still not your classic pg, but he’s definitely improved a lot, in that respect.) 
      unfortunately, i don’t see any evidence that kuester or frank would have been able to take a raw project like holliday and mold him into the kind of player he has become. 

  • Jan 27, 201310:04 am
    by D. Stewart


    Just for shits and giggles … a ten million dollar, winner-takes-all, ten-game tournament: Team A is coached by Frank and is comprised of Prince, Knight, Monroe, Maxiell and Singler. Team B is coached by Greg Popovich and has Bynum, Stuckey, Drummond, Jerebko and Villanueva.  Both squads have two weeks to prepare.  Who takes home the loot?

    • Jan 27, 201311:09 am
      by Tom Y.


      No competition at all. I’d say Frank wins 2 of 10.

    • Jan 27, 201312:21 pm
      by ryan


      That’s not even close because of the coaches involved and the fact that no on the other side can defend Andre Drummond but he can mess things up defensively for a lot of them.

      • Jan 27, 20133:27 pm
        by frankie d


        great question.
        think most observers would bet on pop taking maybe 7 or 8 out of ten games.  in fact, pop -or carlisle, or karl – could probably take the pistons roster, eliminate the non-monroe starters, and have the team at about the 45 win mark. 

  • Jan 27, 20132:07 pm
    by Brady Fredericksen


    I see where you guys are coming from with Monroe not being as productive in some ways as Drummond, but you also have to take role into mind. Monroe has to try to defend one of the other teams best post guys, score and distribute if guys are looking for shots — from what we’ve seen thus far, all Drummond has to do on court is block shots, rebound, set screens and roll. Having to be the focal point of an offense with limited weapons around you along with everything else Monroe has to do for the Pistons to even be competitive has to be noted. That’s the mental aspect of having to juggle everything opposed to limited things with Drummond.

    • Jan 27, 20135:50 pm
      by Venice


      YES! FINALLY! We really need to give Moose some credit. He’s doing everything for this team to stay competitive. IF he can only have those players that will properly stretch the floor,Knight to finally learn to distribute, and finally make Drummond learn hook shot,Moose’s field goal percentage will go up.We all know that the roster this season is so messed up and we better learn to stay up and let the YOUNGSTERS develop.It’s part of the growing pains of starting a team who are in the league for about a year or two.

  • Jan 27, 20132:58 pm
    by Ahmed


    Good news for the Pistons! “The Celtics announce Rajon Rondo has a torn ACL and will have season-ending surgery” – Bleacher Report. Share!

  • Jan 27, 20133:27 pm
    by vic


    Ok so now Pistons definitely have the 8th seed there for the taking since Rondo is out…

    If your going to get in it, you might as well win it. Unless you want to see Miami create all their commercials with Pistons in the background, and watch Lebron and DWade get 7 dunks each per game… Joe D has to do two things now. 
    Trade anybody except Monroe and Drummond for Kyle Lowry.
    Get Monroe and Drummond playing together.

    If their going to lose their draft pick they might as well beat someone in the playoffs.
     Kyle Lowry is a triple double threat from the pg position, and a defensive monster having his best year. 

    • Jan 27, 20135:50 pm
      by Quin


      And then the Celtics beat Miami.

  • Jan 27, 20139:47 pm
    by MrHappyMushroom


    Probably no one else could have been the choice.
    But I seriously hope that Greg watches that last defensive possession against the Bulls.  He gave up on the play and stood by the three point line watching Joakim Noah win the game for the Bulls.
    Still love Greg, but if he’s really what we (and he) hopes he is, he needs to take that play to heart.  That one play made it clear that Noah is a far superior presence to Monroe.  It’s the little things that can turn a really good player into a great one.  Noah does them now. 

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