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.
Last season, Rodney Stuckey took plenty of point-guard duties from Brandon Knight when times got tough. But Knight, to his credit, is doing much more this year. Still, even with Stuckey coming off the bench, the Pistons aren’t asking Knight to run the offense at all times this year. It’s a huge help the Pistons have a passer as good as Greg Monroe, who’s helping Knight’s gradual process into becoming a complete point guard.