Greg Monroe Will Help Detroit Pistons' Team Chemistry Right Away

Ray StoneCorrespondent IJuly 1, 2010

PROVIDENCE, RI - MARCH 18:  Greg Monroe #10 of the Georgetown Hoyas celebrates his basket in the first half against the Ohio Bobcats during the first round of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament on March 18, 2010 at the Dunkin Donuts Arena in Providence, Rhode Island.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

I really thought that even though it would not have been a sexy pick, Kansas’ big fella Cole Aldrich might have been the best choice for the Detroit Pistons this year. The team is desperately in need of a post presence. Aldrich does have a lower ceiling, but he is a physical defender who willingly bangs in the paint for a living.

Laimbeer-ish if you will.

That is something we could really use in Piston blue—a strong player not named Ben Wallace.

When the Pistons instead chose 6’11", 247-pound Greg Monroe from Georgetown, my initial thought was that he was a little soft for Motown.

I know he can play with his back to the basket, but he seems to be more of a face-up player.

Joe Dumars said he wanted to restore the toughness that has been the staple of this franchise since the 80’s. Monroe looks more like a John Salley than a Rick Mahorn for sure.

When you have a guy like Charlie Villanueva on your team, it seems that the last thing you need is another finesse power forward.

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Although you have to love players from the GU, who are cut from tough Piston cloth, I wasn’t necessarily sold on the pick.

Upon further review though, the thing that I really grew to love about Monroe’s game is his passing ability.

A guy that size who can handle and pass the basketball as well as he can is a valuable commodity. That provides a lot of options for an NBA offense.

Remember Chris Webber and/or Arvydas Sabonis and how well they could place the basketball? That impacts an offense immediately.

A good passing big man makes everyone on the court better and is great for team chemistry. That will work well with the somewhat odd group of scorers and non-scorers on this Piston roster. Besides restricted free agent Will Bynum, there isn’t a floor general on the roster.

There is a reason you need skilled passing—when the ball is moving well, guys tend to cut harder and move better without it.

Unselfish play is definitely contagious.

When Wallace and Jonas Jerebko played together last season, the trademark defense and hustle was certainly there, but the offense often suffered.

Enter Greg Monroe, who averaged an impressive 3.7 assists per game last year. That has to be very attractive to this offense, whose team leader in assists, Rodney Stuckey, dropped only 4.8 dimes a night.

Better ball movement leads to more scoring opportunities and keeps everyone on the court involved. Hopefully Monroe will do that for Coach Kuester’s team this year. In an injury-riddled season, last year’s team ranked 26th in the league in assists, managing just over 19 a night.

Besides, the league seems to be getting smaller, with fewer teams having true centers.

6’11" is the new seven-feet these days, so maybe the Pistons can get away with a smaller roster.

Last year's first round pick Austin Daye is another 6'11" guy who handles the ball very fluently.  He figures to be ready to contribute this year.  

Don't look now but Dumars is stockpiling some very versatile, interesting pieces.  

Second round pick Terrico White brings raw speed and athleticism to the mix, although as it stands today he would be hard-pressed to find minutes with this team.

It seems odd to add another shooting guard to this team unless more moves are going to be made. But White is a good value pick with the athleticism to be a lockdown defender and possibly an explosive bench scorer down the line—a Tony Allen-type.

With free agency just beginning and some trade rumors still swirling around the team, it remains to be seen what it will look like in the fall when the dust settles.

Either way, the 2011 squad is looking better already.  That is something we can all be happy about. 


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