The DeMarcus Cousins-Greg Monroe debate continues


  • Teams: Detroit Pistons (0-4) at Sacramento Kings (1-3)
  • Date: November 7, 2012
  • Time: 10:00 p.m.
  • Television: FSD

If you don’t listen to the Basketball Jones Podcast (and you should if you’re not, it’s great), in their season preview, they discusses 101 questions for the NBA season. One of the questions was about Greg Monroe and DeMarcus Cousins — who would you rather have long-term?

This has been a common debate among Pistons fans, who openly pined for Cousins before the 2010 draft only to be more than pleasantly surprised by how good Monroe is.

The guys on the Jones all reached familiar conclusions — Cousins is probably more talented with more upside, but Monroe’s hard-working, quiet persona and rapid improvement combined with Cousins’ (fair or unfair) reputation as a bit of a combustible personality, made it a really intriguing debate.

But, after a few games this season, they revisited their preseason predictions and concluded, based on Monroe’s poor start and Cousins continuing to look like a potential franchise center (17 points, 10 rebounds and 2 steals per game so far this season), along with his better relationship with Kings coach Keith Smart over his predecessor, Cousins is the clear winner.

Monroe bounced back last night with a 27 and 10 effort against the Nuggets to hopefully re-assert himself among the league’s up and coming bigs, but the Cousins-Monroe debate is always going to be a fun discussion point during their careers. So far, one has not convincingly pulled ahead of the other. I would probably agree that Cousins is the more talented player, but I also think Monroe is much closer talent-wise than people give him credit for.

Head-to-head, Monroe is averaging 13.0 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.2 steals per game while shooting 62 percent in four games vs. the Kings. Cousins is averaging 15.0 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.0 steals per game while shooting 46 percent against the Pistons. Monroe has turned it over less, Cousins has got to the line more and blocked more shots in those games.

I’m not sure that the debate between the two will be settled tonight, but I know that Pistons-Kings games will always be two of the games on the schedule I look forward to the most to see these guys play each other.

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