Grantland's Zach Lowe took some time recently to take a look at the happenings of the NBA. In the course of his league-wide inspection, the Detroit Pistons cam up twice. Greg Monroe was featured in both of Lowe's Pistons mentions. Here's what Lowe had to say on Grantland about Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight:
"Monroe has always been a skilled high-post passer, but this season Detroit is asking him to do more by stepping up the pace of some sets that feature Monroe at the elbow. One favorite: Detroit will run a pick-and-roll on one side of the floor using the non-Monroe big man — usually Jason Maxiell — to set the screen and roll to the hoop. As Maxiell rolls, Monroe will flash from the baseline up to the elbow on the opposite side of the floor, catch a pass from Detroit's point guard, and fire an immediate bounce pass to Maxiell near the hoop. It's Lawrence Frank's way of using Monroe as a pick-and-roll middle man, doing the work Brandon Knight isn't ready to do consistently. Good stuff."
It's nice to see someone outside of Detroit noticing this pick-and-roll tactic. One of the more impressive features of this Pistons team is Monroe's passing ability. More specifically, Monroe's passing ability that seems to get Jason Maxiell one of his now-signature dunks off the pick-and-roll every single night. It's a nice play that Frank has put in, and a play the players have implemented well. Moreover, the fact that the play would be nearly ineffective without Greg Monroe on the floor is telling of just how important the passing big man is to the Pistons right now. Even if his scoring numbers take a dip on certain nights, there's a good chance that Monroe is finding a way to have a positive effect on the game.