the people of Piston Powered have made a great case of using Rodney Stuckey in the post against weaker PGs, which is pretty much any PG whose name is not Tyreke Evans ... Last night he had some beautiful passes that led to three pointers, because the Orlando's defense had to respect the mismatch he had against Chris Duhon.
That's not what I want to talk about though. As I watched the game I realized what John Kuester should do within the next couple of months is put Greg Monroe in as a starter. Greg Monroe is getting better and better and his learning curve has been truly impressive. Although his stats of 6 points on 3 of 6 shooting, 2 rebounds and 4 assists don't look that impressive, he had a real nice game once again. The two rebounds don't take into account how many balls he tipped to teammates and his overall hustle was a nice display of his attempt to try really hard which is nice to watch during this season.
In the second quarter the Pistons had two consecutive possessions where they scored out of a half-court set-up getting clean looks, once Tracy McGrady at the basket and Ben Gordon for the jumper. So let me show those two plays to you NBA Playbook style!!!
The Pistons start the play out with Ben Gordon on top and with Monroe in the high post. Monroe will set the screen and immediately cut into the lane.
Since the defense has to respect Gordon's shot both defenders go out to contest the jumper and Gordon can get a pass into the lane where Monroe's waiting with his soft hands.
McGrady sees this and cuts to the basket. Monroe is a pass first Big Man (boy that's a rarity) and instead of shooting the 4-footer over a smaller but (still) more athletic Carter he drops it off to McGrady for the easy deuce.
Right on the next possession, McGrady passes the ball to Charlie V on the right wing and runs to the weakside. Simulataneously Monroe sets a soft Pick for Gordon on the weakside and then shows up at the high post position to receive the ball.
Gordon, meanwhile, has arrived on the strong block gets a weak pick from Villanueva but still manages to get enough room to receive the hand-off by Monroe and score an easy midrange jumper, Gordon's bread'n'butter!
As you can see, the Pistons played to their players strengths and got off clean looks. I think we could really create an offense around that player. He could be like Chris Webber in Adelmann's system with the Kings in the early 2000's.
Unfortunately, we didn't get the win last night, but I see how this team could work together. The roster needs some tweaks, but overall I see a few bright spots! The reason I want Monroe to get as much playing time as possible, is simply that he'll be a corner stone for years to come hopefully. I like his attitude and his hustle! We're not going to make the Playoffs anyway and if we should happen to make them, we aren't going to go past the first round ... So why not develop Monroe? What's at stake????