We’re only five games into the Detroit Pistons’ season, so it’s a bit early to start making any big conclusions. However, if the NBA season ended today, we’d not only be sad without any basketball to watch through the winter months, but it would be pretty clear who the Pistons’ team MVP is.
Greg Monroe is having an absolutely monster year so far. He is posting personal bests in per-game statistics for rebounds, blocks, steals, points and free-throw percentage. As an added bonus to his personal-high free throw percentage so far, he is also getting to the line more than he ever has.
Monroe is leading the team in rebounds per game with 11.8 – also good for fifth in the league. He’s eating glass on both sides of the court with 5.4 offensive boards per game. As if creating second chances were not enough, he is also second on the team in points. Although he is averaging a full point less per game than Josh Smith’s team high of 18.8, Monroe is doing so while attempting roughly five fewer shots per game.
Monroe has played a team-high 193 minutes so far this season. This is significant, not only because it means he is on the court far more than any other player, but also because it makes how efficiently he’s playing even more impressive. Rodney Stuckey has the highest player efficiency rating on the roster right now, but he’s also playing 16 fewer minutes than Monroe. The big man’s four double-doubles is tied for the second highest in the league.
Monroe has played with an unmatched focus this season, and the statistics can back that up. It’s clear that he entered the season ready to take on a leadership role. It helps that he is in a contract year, but regardless of that fact, Monroe has consistently been the best player in a Detroit Pistons’ uniform through the team’s first five games.