It’s early, and his team somehow ranks 28th or worse in both offensive and defensive efficiency, but after Thursday night, it can no longer be ignored: Greg Monroe is having a monster season. The numbers are ridiculous:
• Monroe is fifth in the league in Player Efficiency Rating, and one of the guys ahead of him (Manu Ginobili) will soon fall off the leader board due to a lack of minutes.
• He is shooting 59.7 percent from the floor. Only Nene shot better last season.
• He has rebounded 14.4 percent of Detroit’s misses, an offensive rebounding rate that would have led the entire league last season.
• He has assisted on 19.4 percent of Detroit’s baskets while on the floor Among players 6-foot-9 or taller, only Hedo Turkoglu and Brad Miller posted higher assist rates last season. One of those guys isn’t a traditional big man, and the other barely eked out 1000 minutes.
There are caveats beyond the fact that the 2-9 Pistons have been miserable overall. They rank in the bottom third of the league in assist rate, and they have recently been starting a rookie point guard (Brandon Knight) with an assist rate lower than Monroe’s. They also have Rodney Stuckey and Ben Gordon to handle and pass, but neither is an elite distributor. Someone has to rack up the assists, and Monroe, a good passer dating to his time at Georgetown, has filled the void.
You could make the same argument about Monroe’s rebounding, since the rest of the big-man minutes have been going to two so-so rebounders (Jason Maxiell and Jonas Jerebko, the latter a bit of a tweener) and Ben Wallace, still a very good rebounder, but one who doesn’t play much anymore. Detroit ranks as an average offensive rebounding team and a below-average defensive rebounding team, so someone has to grab the rebounds Detroit does manage to snare, and that someone is Monroe. Read More…