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Piston of the Week: Greg Monroe

Piston of the Week (1/6/2013 – 1/12/2013): Greg Monroe

18.7 points, 12 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game, 63 field-goal percentage

Until Saturday’s game against the Jazz, Greg Monroe was having a pretty ho-hum week, at least by his standards. He’d led the Pistons in rebounding in the previous two contests and was coming off an absolute beauty of a game (26 points, 11 rebounds) against the Milwaukee Bucks — a team he’s historically had success against.

Maybe even the best part of Monroe’s early-week was that he had seemed to have found a way to keep a lid on the turnovers that have been his biggest deterrent this season.

Although he turned it over just two times combined in a loss to the Bobcats and win over the Bucks, he more than made up for that in Saturday’s struggle against the Jazz — turning it over seven times, a total that even Brandon Knight scoffs at.

Saturday wasn’t the worst of games for Monroe, though. He did have the seven turnovers, but he finished with an efficient 12 point, 11 rebound double-double. The thing about Saturday’s game was that when the Pistons’ offense faltered in an 11-point third quarter, he couldn’t do a thing to kick start it.

He was constantly hassled by the plethora of big men thrown at him by the Jazz — a group that could be argued as the deepest in the NBA. Not only did Monroe have to defend two of the better scoring bigs in Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap, but he was absolutely harassed by Millsap defensively throughout the Pistons’ crippling third quarter.

Monroe’s scoring is a huge part of the Pistons’ offense, and when he’s playing well, the team looks like they did in the 16-point win at Milwaukee. That wasn’t the case on Saturday, and when the Pistons’ did make their late run, it was keyed by wing scoring from Will Bynum and some questionable decisions by the Jazz.

The problem for Monroe and the Pistons against the Jazz was simple — when you clog up the paint like Utah did, it really hinders Monroe and the offense. On top of that, at least offensively, that also renders Andre Drummond as a counterproductive pairing with Monroe seeing as both just attract extra defenders into the paint.

Obviously, there are solutions to that — and Lawrence Frank went to the bench with Charlie Villanueva and Austin Daye to spread things out — but as long as teams pack it in against Monroe, the Pistons’ offense is going to stagnate.

Regardless of the offensive problems the Jazz exposed on Saturday, Monroe’s ability on the boards all season has helped Detroit to 10th in the league in offensive-rebounding percentage, and as long as he’s scoring like he did earlier in the week, he and the Pistons should be able to keep their play at this recently successful level.

Past Winners


  • Jan 14, 201312:54 am
    by tarsier


    Unsurprisingly, Monroe is owning this segment. 5/11 so far.

    • Jan 14, 20139:17 am
      by MrHappyMushroom


       A little sad that a guy who turned the ball over seven times last game and got abused on defense. But who else would be eligible.  MFWB was the team’s best player against Utah, but if I recall, he had an off game last week.

  • Jan 14, 20139:29 am
    by vic


    Coaching advice from South London Press on Greg Monroehttp://www.southlondon-today.co.uk/Spor … 0to%20know3. Youngblood: Greg MonroeGreg Monroe is a big part of the team -along with Andre Drummond. He is arguably Detroit’s best player at the moment – and he was only drafted in 2010.But at the end of that season, he had proved to be one of the most solid and consistent rookies.According to SynergySports, Monroe is most successful when he’s put in situations where he’s moving, such as when he’s cutting (running from the wing to catch a pass from the player who has the ball) and when he’s the screener in the pick-and-roll (setting a screen for a teammate handling the ball then taking a pass as he slips behind the opposing defender).Recent figures show that he shoots 57.1 percent and scores 1.15 points per possession in the pick-and-roll, and 64.1 percent with 1.17 points per possession as the cutter. This is good shooting and point-scoring.4. Winning at home, losing on the roadDetroit have an abysmal record of losing on the road. At home, Monroe has a higher shooting percentage than he does when he’s away. Also, he is only put into cutter and screener positions, where he is most dominant, 18.3% of the time. Why not play him in his most effective positions more when Detroit are on the road?–Wow.So Greg is most efficient when he’s not playing the role of point guard – he’s actually best when playing with a point guard that can get him the ball… And it took someone from the UK to figure this out?”Trey Burke… meet Joe Dumars, and your new shooting guard of the future – Brandon Knight” (my draft dream)

  • Jan 14, 201312:00 pm
    by Ozzie-Moto


    Oh great   JD ties his hands behind his back … and agrees to hang on to dead wood even longer … Useless as a JM at this point  Prince Assured Pistons Wont Include Him In Trade Discussions – RealGM Wiretap

    • Jan 14, 201312:05 pm
      by Brigs


      Please tell me this is some kind of sick joke

    • Jan 14, 201312:11 pm
      by tarsier


      If it wasn’t for his past several years of godawful GMing, I’d assume this is some kind of smokescreen or something. But I have zero remaining faith in Dumars. Fire him now, Gores. Please, please, please…

  • Jan 14, 201312:15 pm
    by Brady Fredericksen


    I don’t know if a report from RealGM and Prince’s agent is true, per say. RealGM isn’t really a reputable news source, but the claim doesn’t surprise me, really.

  • Jan 14, 20131:10 pm
    by piston moribund


    The biggest question that seems to arise as with all stars is whether or not the star can carry a team on its back when it matters most and the resounding answer for Bullwinkle right now is NO.  Since passing has always been touted by everyone as his strong suit, becoming swarmed by defenders should present a lot of opportunity to make the defense pay, instead he rewarded the defense handsomely by coughing it up and digging the team into a bigger hole.  The fact that he was the player of the week says a lot about how crap the Pistons are.
    I think the time for excuses has passed and the onus should be put on the best player to really make a difference when it matters, when the rest of the team is struggling, the best player, by definition, should be able to turn things around and make the rest of the team look good.  If he is playing well only when the rest of the team is doesn’t really say much about his future as the leader of the franchise.
    Whether its because of experience or by design, the player who seems to at least try and change things now is the play of Prince.  I am aware that everyone thinks his contract is a big albatross, but it is in fact not considering what he brings to the team.  That is why giving up Prince is a decision based on fielding a respectable team or not.
    Even as it stands now, the defense that Dre brings to the table probably has more of an impact than Bullwinkle.  Having someone in the middle who can block and rebound is probably the second most sought after position next to PG.  He does things which are off the charts while his offense is poor and his man to man defense is not that much better.
    There are a lot of things that Bullwinkle does well but there isn’t one thing that seems to stand out.  He seems to a a jack of all trades but master of nothing which makes him an important cog, but certainly not the main one.
    The theme these days appears to be the lack of leadership.  Someone who will put the team of his back when things go wrong, and its pretty obvious that Bullwinkle is not up to the task yet, who knows if he will ever be.

    • Jan 14, 20131:33 pm
      by Keith


      I’m not really disagreeing. Monroe isn’t a franchise player the way Lebron, Durant, and CP3 are. But hell, Kobe can’t even carry the Lakers anymore unless they are playing us or the Cavs. The fact is, our entire team is replacement level or worse across the board. Monroe cannot carry us because we have almost no one else that can carry even their own weight. No one player outside of the very best in the league can do that kind of lifting.
      If we are comparing Monroe to those standards, he will always come up short. There have been better players than him that couldn’t turn an entire team of scrubs around. Drummond has that potential, but he’s not there yet. Monroe ultimately will be an Al Jefferson-esque player. A guy who goes to work, puts up his 15 points and 10 rebounds every night, but that must be complimented by better players if the team is to succeed.

    • Jan 14, 20131:36 pm
      by vic


      Dre is obviously the franchise player. Moose is good, but will benefit greatly when he doesn’t have to handle the ball and run the offense at the point. He’s most effective when receiving passes of p&rs and cutting.

      • Jan 14, 20131:47 pm
        by Keith


        My only fear is that it could run into a Dwight-Gasol dynamic. Gasol has a much better jumper than Monroe, but even he doesn’t fit well with Dwight. They run into each other offensively because LA didn’t have many shooters. It’s always hard to run an offense if both main players need to be in the same place. If Monroe and Drummond both need to be in the PnR, if they both need to cut to the basket, get offensive boards, or make moves only around the basket, how can they play at the same time?
        I have said it before, but I don’t think either is an ideal partner for the other. Drummond needs a Ryan Anderson who plays as a bomber away from the basket, a guy that can be a big time outlet on PnRs. Monroe needs someone like Serge Ibaka. A primary shotblocker/defender who has a sweet mid-range jumper. That gives Monroe someone to work with as a passer, but also someone who will keep defenses honest away from the basket.

        • Jan 14, 20132:11 pm
          by tarsier


          But Gasol and Howard have only played together for a very short time. And their struggles are surprising to most. There is no reason to expect the same problems with Monroe and Drummond although it is wise to be wary of the possibility that such problems might arise. But historically, this has rarely been an issue. It’s not at all true that it is hard to run an offense with two big guys who play near the hoop. Look at Duncan/Robinson. Look at Gasol/Randolph. Why assume that the case that didn’t work out (for what? a little over a quarter season?) is the one most applicable?

          • Jan 14, 20132:24 pm
            by Keith

            Gasol-Randolph can both hit a jumper out to 15 feet, so that’s not a great comparison. Duncan-Robinson is close, but you are also talking about two all-time greats. If Monroe or Drummond ended up as good as EITHER of those guys, it’s probably not going to matter how they “fit.”

          • Jan 14, 20133:17 pm
            by tarsier

            If Monroe and Drummond end up as good as Howard and Pau, we’d all be thrilled too, although obviously they are still well behind Duncan and Robinson.

            And Monroe can definitely hit a bucket out to 15 feet as well. But, like Marc and Z-Bo, that’s really not where he’s at his best.

          • Jan 14, 20133:48 pm
            by Brigs

            Monroe has made maybe 10 shots total this year 15 ft or further, his jump shot isn’t even close to Randolph’s or gasols and until he develops that its gonna be a very crowded paint area on offense

          • Jan 14, 20133:58 pm
            by Keith

            Brigs is right. Monroe is shooting a completely unacceptable 29% outside the basket area. Any half-decent defense gives him those shots all game. Fact is, neither of our future big men can shoot a lick, and it makes them a poor pairing outside of one of them becoming an all-time great.

          • Jan 14, 20134:26 pm
            by tarsier

            Monroe is having an off year. But last season, he shot 41% from mid-range. That is slightly better than Z-Bo and slightly worse than Marc but all around comparable.

        • Jan 14, 20134:48 pm
          by vic


          I see what you’re saying… but I think It’ll work out. Zbo can’t jump like Drummond. Ryan Anderson can’t drive like Monroe. Drummond’s not injured like Howard.

          But what is really important is 1,2,3 – how you build around your “Big Two.”
          They all need to be able to shoot. 
          They all need to be able to pass very well with a good A/to. 

          If the Pistons add someone in this draft or free agency that can fill those two needs, and effectivley create a “Big Three” then they’ll be alright.

          At the beginning of this season I was trying to figure out if Knight or Stuckey would develop into a “Big” player (top 10 in their position at pg or SG). I’ve given up on that, and obviously Joe D wants to swing on a free agent. I’m hoping to get one (or 2) in the draft. 

          • Jan 14, 20135:13 pm
            by tarsier

            Eric Gordon has kinda been forgotten about. But he would be the perfect fit to make a “big 3″.

    • Jan 14, 20132:05 pm
      by tarsier


      Nobody thinks Prince is an albatross. If he were, there wouldn’t be so many people looking to trade him. Because the Pistons would have to throw in sweeteners.

      Prince should be moved because he helps the team now, but the Pistons aren’t going anywhere now. He is too old to continue to be of much use for long. It is exceedingly unlikely that he will ever be a significant contributor on a contending Pistons team again.

      So what remaining value he has may as well be flipped over to a team that is in contention for some asset that at least has the potential to help Detroit when they really need it. And that seems a realistic scenario precisely because Prince’s deal is not immense. 

    • Jan 14, 20132:38 pm
      by Big Rick


      Nice summary Piston Moribund. I agree totally.

  • Jan 14, 20132:55 pm
    by Big Rick


    Good posts gentlemen; interesting reads. This has become my favorite Pistons site by far.

    • Jan 14, 20133:19 pm
      by tarsier


      Yeah, I stumbled onto PP about 2 years ago. It’s the best site I know of not only for Pistons coverage but also for dialogue.

  • Jan 14, 20134:52 pm
    by MrCarter


    He needs to continue to work on his low-post game and being a beast inside. I love him but I still see him playing at top of the key and high-post too often. Needs to be more of a banger. Other than that, glad to see his improvement.

  • Jan 14, 20139:45 pm


    I like Monroe, but I’d trade him

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