This is surprising for a few reasons. First off, Monroe was just signed to the team a few weeks ago, and was pinned as their 'big-time' addition at the league's trade deadline. Secondly, his skillset fills a hole that the Cs have been lacking in all season: offense under the basket. He rebounds well and will compliment Al Horford's passing game with some dime dropping of his own. Lastly, the guy can still play! He averaged 11.3 points, 8 rebounds, and 2.5 assists in twenty games for the Phoenix Suns, and at this moment, would be a starting center for multiple other teams in the NBA.
Source: The New Orleans Pelicans will put a hard sell on Greg Monroe by pushing a starting opportunity and playing up the hometown connection. Key will be creating space on roster and under hard cap.
Before Monday, Monroe had played in every game since he put on a green jersey. In those games, six of them to be exact, he's averaged 5.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 1 assist in 13.7 minutes of action. Those numbers aren't breath-taking, but they aren't too shabby either. After all, he's entering a new system with new teammates, and it will take some time for him to find his true role on the squad.
Although he hasn't been the sturdiest defender, and was abused at times by the New York Knicks last week, he's held his own, and is playing the game that he's always played. The Celtics are getting exactly what signed up for.
So what the heck is happening!? Has Monroe already played himself out of the Celtics' lineup?According to Brad Stevens, that isn't the case.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens explains Greg Monroe’s DNP and says he still has great confidence in him moving forward. pic.twitter.com/iHvAWfcBmM
More Stevens on Moose: "I think he's gonna get more used to the way we are trying to play on the defensive end. Our system is such that it accounts for individual strengths and each step we try to defend different actions. He's really smart and he's going to figure it out."
Things were just going so well in the Grizzly's game, that Brad couldn't switch it up. Daniel Theis was thriving with the second unit, and posted 12 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, and 1 block in 24 minutes of action on the night. So, the benching had nothing to do with Monroe's play, and instead was based upon everyone else's performance, in a game where the Celtics had a double-digit lead for the majority of the time.
I think Brad will make up for Moose's Monday lack of minutes in tonight's game versus the Charlotte Hornets. They're a large team, who regularly just stick Dwight Howard under the basket so that he can accumulate boards and points in the paint. On the year, Dwight is averaging 15.7 points and 12.7 rebounds on 54.3% shooting. Hopefully Monroe's presence will lessen those rebounding numbers, at the least.
Also to consider is Daniel Theis, who has officially been ruled out for tonight's game. Monroe should take the majority of those minutes. I'd wager that Moose plays at least 15 minutes in tonight's match, and finds himself in the Cs' lineup for the remainder of the season.
Celtics announce Daniel Theis is out tonight due to right hamstring soreness.