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Pistons asking Greg Monroe to work on elbow jumper

Nov 8, 2013, 12:13 PM EDT

Greg Monroe AP

Greg Monroe is putting up numbers again — 17.3 points and 11 rebounds per game. He’s efficient doing that, as evidenced by a PER of 19.1 (a borderline All-Star kind of number).

Pistons coach Maurice Cheeks wants more — he wants a midrange jumper.

Monroe has taken 36 shots this season inside 8 feet (hitting 58.3 percent) and just 13 outside that range (hitting 23 percent). Which explains why Cheeks told the Detroit Free Press Monroe needs to develop more of a midrange game.

“I just told him today that if I was him, I’d practice that jump shot right at that left and right elbow,” Cheeks said. “I’d practice it 200, 300 times a day at that elbow spot. … Now he has to expand his game a little bit in making that jump shot at the left or right elbow. It opens up his game so much more. It makes it a little bit tougher.”

Monroe is 2-of-8 from the elbows this season, Vince Ellis at the Free Press says. Fits with the rest of his midrange game.

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Cheeks is right. Monroe is great at driving and finishing from the elbow, plus he is a fantastic passer for a big man, which makes him a great fit at the elbows in a “horns” set. But when he gets the rock there teams will just back off and dare him to knock it down. When he does, things will really open up.

Monroe says he’s comfortable with the shot and is working on it. Good. With Andre Drummond and Josh Smith in the frontcourt with him anything he can do to help create more space on the floor will help his cause considerably.

  1. spursareold - Nov 8, 2013 at 12:22 PM

    Man, DET should have locked him up on an extension. Dumars is going to hate himself when someone drops a MAX offer on him, Drummond needs to be extended, and you’re already paying the two ‘I can and will shoot from anywhere but rarely make it’ twins in Jennings and Smith.

    • labatts - Nov 9, 2013 at 12:54 PM

      Monroe’s agent has already indicated that he expects a max contract deal, so the threat of another team offering a max isn’t really there because they will probably have to do it anyway. It is actually possible that he gets lo-balled (although I doubt it by the way he has been playing).

      In any event, locking him up also makes him untradable (no, I don’t hope this happens). So, there are actually reasons to wait.

  2. xmen1906 - Nov 8, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    Why didn’t they have him work on this in the summer. If I was a Piston’s fan, this would piss me off

    • xmen1906 - Nov 8, 2013 at 12:55 PM

      *If I were

  3. obmig - Nov 8, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    I keep hearing that Monroe is going to be the odd man out in this front court and to me it’s beyond baffling if it happens. He’s more complete than Drummond right now, and more than Smith will ever be. They also don’t need another big chucking jumpers all the time. Smith takes care of that on his own.

    • jaerba - Nov 8, 2013 at 3:03 PM

      Because he’s a slow, below average defender and Smith and Drummond are both (or at least can be) exceptional defenders.

      That said, Monroe being able to shoot from the elbow would be huge. Everyone’s harping on Smith’s bad shot selection, but it’s slightly overblown on this team because of Monroe/Drummond and the Kobe assist. There are times it looks like those two are doing taps drills.

      The most disappointing part about Smith so far has been his absolutely horrible execution and screens on our offensive sets. Replacing him Monroe on the elbow would be hugely beneficial for everyone, as Moose is the way better screener.

    • spursareold - Nov 8, 2013 at 3:43 PM

      Allegedly, even though he’s never been effective there, DET is playing Smith a SF.

  4. 00maltliquor - Nov 8, 2013 at 5:53 PM

    Yeah, work on that elbow jumper so your value goes up for when we trade you…is what he meant.

  5. mintberrycrunch1 - Nov 9, 2013 at 7:30 PM

    Monroe has been the most fun player on the team to watch this year. All he has done is improve every year he’s been in the league. Some of his post moves just embarrass the defenders like a Kyrie Irving crossover.

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