Respect the Moose - Greg Monroe's best game as a Celtic
As a resident of northern New Hampshire, after being attacked by one moose and having a minor collision with another (no injuries to animal or human), I have learned to respect the resident moose population. Boston's resident Moose, Greg Monroe, earned some respect from his teammates and the fans last night in a convincing 134-106 win against the Charlotte Hornets. He has his best game yet as a member of the Celtics, playing 20 minutes and scoring 14 points on 6/9 from the field and 2/2 from the foul line, while adding four rebounds, two assists and one block.
Coach Brad Stevens is not looking for stellar defense and three-point shooting from Greg. He simply wants him to be a cog in the defensive system and to do what Monroe does best - namely scoring down low and crashing the boards. Until Greg arrived, the Celtics had no one that could effectively take over on offense in the low post. They have one now.
"We didn't have a ton of post actions in prior to him arriving," Stevens said. "We'll post some, but now obviously in the second unit, if (Monroe) is being guarded by a back-up center we'll look to do that more."
Matched with the Spanish center, Monroe immediately took him into the paint with 11:22 remaining in the first half and bashed his way to the basket for a layup.
On the next possession, the Celtics ran the exact same action, clearing the floor for Monroe, who went directly through (Willy) Hernangomez again for a layup plus the foul. On the next possession, the Celtics did the same thing once more, and once again, Hernangomez had no answer for Monroe.
Things were a bit shaky for Monroe in his first few games as a Celtic, and it is still early in the process. There will be a few more obstacles to be overcome, but it looks like the Moose generally has arrived. The timing could not have been better.