Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
IS THE BEST FOR DETROIT TO TRADE HIM, HE IS INEFFECTIVE AGAINST THE GOOD TEAM, PISTONS ARE NOT GETING ANYWHERE WITH HIM!
Mind you, that was in regards to Monroe since he was the focal point of the article. And a reply to that saying...
You are the first person to say what I have been saying for a while now. Monroe does not fit the team we are currently putting together. He is also a defensive liability. I like Drummond and Slavo for the future at center on this team. But I am not convinced that Monroe is the PF we need to play next to Drummond. Drummond commands so much attention in the paint, it would benefit us to have a stretch four playing next to him. Can you say Earl Clark? I also like Perry Jones III in that role.
First thought in my head was, that must be SOL's sister in the picture. But my second thought was, "Where are the stats to prove that he is ineffective against the good teams?" In all fairness, I'm going to ignore his rookie year because he 1) only started 48 of the 80 games he played in, 2) was a rookie, and 3) Richard Hamilton and Ben Gordon were the focal points of the team. Also, I'm going to ignore last year due to 1) it being a shortened season with many more games in a shorter amount of time, 2) having a rookie PG, and 3) having Ben Gordon on the team still. So this season I think needs to become the baseline for Monroe's stats.
Now everyone can easily go to www.basketball-reference.com to pull up his splits and see where he stands. But that doesn't allow us a forum to really discuss it and dive into it. So let's explore.
Something happened in December, and I'd like to know what it is. Without looking at December, each month his PPG and RPG increased. However, there are things in the other stats that are concerning.
Again, I want to know what happened in December? I mean, I know we were the first team in the league to 30 games I believe, by about 3 games on average to every other team, but was that it? Was the Moose fatigued? Other than that, as the year has progressed, other than FT%, he's seemed to get better at most of his stats.
Wins vs. Losses
Now, I don't believe Monroe is our franchise player. However, I believe he's a very important piece for us going forward, especially if he and Drummond gel once Drummond becomes a starter. But because he's a major piece, I would hope that in our wins it likely shows that he plays much better than he does in our losses. If he doesn't, say the stats are pretty even, it could simply mean he's just a symbol of consistency. However, just from the data above, aside from December, it does appear that Monroe has been playing better as we've been winning more. We had that nice run in January and the last 4 games haven't been that bad either.
The ONLY stat that jumps out at me is the 2.1 more rebounds a game when we win. When I looked at this, I thought that maybe those two extra ones were offensive in wins which were put backs for points. Nope, not really. Monroe average 3.0 ORB/PG in wins compared to 2.9 ORB/PG in losses. So those are on the defensive end. I'd have to look at the team stats, but maybe those are rebounds we normally let the other team get in their wins, so we're lowering their offensive boards in our wins. Seems pretty likely. Other than that, unlike Brandon Knight, Monroe seems like a model of consistency regardless of if we win or lose.
Ok, so this was the main point of why I wanted to make the post. I'm going to compare his stats between Eastern and Western Conference teams as well as Playoff and Non-Playoff teams.
Well, it does appear that Monroe does struggle some with Western opponents. However, I kind of think it's minimal since it's not like he's averaging 19.5 PPG against the East and 12.0 PPG against the West. And while 2 points can win/lose you the game, it's a rather small difference. Again, it seems like he's pretty consistent against whomever he plays.
As far as Playoff teams go, the stats below will include: Miami, New York, Indiana, Brooklyn, Chicago, Atlanta, Boston, Milwuakee, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, LA Clippers, Memphis, Denver, Golden State, Utah, and Houston.
Again, I see a model of consistency. Yes, his numbers are a bit lower against playoff bound teams as compared to others, but it's not by a substantial amount. But that's what playoff teams do...they attack your weaknesses, and for the longest time it's been that our most consistent player was Monroe, and if you got him off of his game, you had a great chance to win. That's a great method to winning games. Where our team differ from most title contenders is that most of them have more than one "go to" player. Miami - Wade and LeBron, OKC - Durant and Westbrook, LAC - Paul and Griffin, SA - Parker, Duncan and Ginobili, NY - Carmelo and Stoudemire, etc. Knight can have some amazing games, but more often than not they're duds. Same goes for Bynum, Villanueva and Stuckey. Our other players are good to average role players (at this point, many have potential).
Yes, Monroe has deficiencies in his game. No, he's not an elite athlete or franchise player. He will more than likely only make a couple of All-Star games in his career. But does that warrant some of the talk about wanting to trade him (most on here don't say that)? I don't believe so.
Now, about him fitting into our system. Whose responsibility is that? Joe is supposed to make personnel changes to bring in/let go of players so that Frank can do with it what he can. Frank needs to use what he has to come up with the "best dish he can". The players need to buy into a system and adjust as they can. You have to remember, for most of Monroe's high school and College career, he was playing PF. He's doing quite an adequate job at a position he learned on the fly and is at a disadvantage (in my eye) physically and defensively. Yes, his defense leaves something to be desired, but to the eye test (enter MFMP with some Synergy stats) he's been getting better and better. Maybe not at as fast a pace as some would like to see, but the dude's only 22 years old.
The one thing I do agree with SOL, and it MAY not be able to be seen this year (I hope it is), is that if we are fully out of the playoff race when Drummond comes back, after getting him a few games, just throw poo to the wind and start Monroe with Drummond. Yes, some teams will be tanking, but others may be pushing for better position. In April (should Drummond not come back until towards the end of March) we face Boston, Chicago and Brooklyn, all likely to be in the Playoff race, possibly trying to better their position. These would be great games to see the Monroe/Drummond combo. Then we'll know what needs work in the off season.