Milwaukee Bucks 2016-17 season review: Greg Monroe

Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /

The Best of Monroe

Monroe was much less of a black-hole on offense this year. He averaged almost a full assist more per 36 minutes (2.8 to 3.7), and improved his assist percentage from 13.2 to 17.3.

In this next clip, watch Monroe lower his shoulder and get the step on Harrison Barnes (a much smaller and more athletic player), before nimbly tight-roping the baseline. As the defense collapses, he instantly recognizes a wide-open Jason Terry (my apologies, the immortal Jason Terry) at the top of the key, and fires a pin-point laser pass right into his shooting hand:

The team posted  a 112.6 offensive rating (+5.8 points per 100 possessions) with Monroe on the court in the regular season. Lineups involving the big man were generally very good, although a litany of injuries and rotation tweaks make finding a five man line-up with a sufficient sample size difficult to come by.

The Bucks still don’t run a lot of pick-and-roll (they moved from dead last in frequency in 2015-16 to 27th in 16-17).  Given the efficiency with which they scored out of the play, 1.12 points per possession for the roll-man, it’s certainly a play they should look to more frequently.

Monroe’s soft hands and ability to finish on the move make him a very capable pick-and-roll finisher. Moose scored 1.23 points per possession, the exact same rate as Minnesota Timberwolves sensation Karl-Anthony Towns.

Finally, Monroe made strides as a defender this year. He posted a career high 1.8 steals per 36 mins, using his lighter frame to play passing lanes and swarm opposing players. While he still struggled as a rim-protector (something we’ll touch on next), he was much, much better than he had been at any previous point in his career.