Reward in Sight for Greg Monroe’s Big Free-Agent Gamble

November 11th, 2014 by Grant Hughes Leave a reply »

Detroit Pistons big man Greg Monroe is gambling this season—on himself and against long odds. And so far, it's paying off.

Monroe is playing better than he has at any point in his career, despite an uncertain role and less-than-ideal teammates. Initially relegated to the pine by new head coach Stan Van Gundy, Monroe cracked the starting lineup in short order. Of course, that meant he was thrust back into the Andre Drummond-Josh Smith unit with whom he partnered to post a cringe-inducing minus-8.0 net rating over 1,361 minutes last season, per

Monroe's reinsertion into the first unit came about largely because the Pistons lack quality (healthy wings). Van Gundy is utilizing Smith at the 3 because he has to; no guards or small forwards have been able to knock down a perimeter shot.

That's another obstacle Monroe has overcome.

See, Monroe depends on shooters for spacing because he's an old-school frontcourt scorer. He can't create space himself and only operates out of the block and from the elbows on offense. When there aren't shooters stationed on the perimeter to keep defenders honest, Monroe has ...

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