Greg Monroe needs to make an impact on defense this NBA season, and not just with Team USA where he currently is trying out for a spot on the national team.
The Detroit Pistons‘ center hasn’t been the best of defensive players in his young NBA career and how much he improves on defense could determine his effectiveness as an overall player next season for the Pistons. New coach Maurice Cheeks will be looking at Monroe to step up his game a few notches.
Thursday in Las Vegas, Monroe played impressive defense in the USA Basketball showcase game. His teammate, Andre Drummond, came off the bench and looked impressive in his bid for a U.S. National Team spot for the FIBA World Cup in Madrid, Spain, next year.
Monroe had 10 points and six rebounds for the Blue team and also had his hands all over the place on defense to making life uncomfortable for the White team.
Monroe keeps hearing about trade rumors involving him in deals for players like Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics. If he keeps showing how improved he is on defense, Monroe is likely to join Drummond on the short list of Piston players that the franchise has made clear are untouchable. But he needs to show that he can dominate the inside against some of the best in the league.
He averaged 16.0 points, 9.6 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game last season, but would like to improve his steals per game mark which was 1.3 last season and is 1.2 for his career.
Improved defense will make Greg Monroe a much more important player in Detroit.