Milwaukee Bucks: Greg Monroe proved he’s reliable in the postseason

Milwaukee, WI - APRIL 22: (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
Milwaukee, WI - APRIL 22: (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Although his performances might not have been the flashiest among the Milwaukee Bucks, Greg  Monroe was ready for his first-ever postseason moment.

The Milwaukee Bucks are a team who are simply expected to make the NBA Playoffs every year now. Giannis Antetokounmpo has elevated the team to that level, but just because Giannis can get the Bucks there doesn’t mean he can get them to the next round alone.

He will need help. In the future that could come from roster moves, but at the moment it seems like Milwaukee is going to largely run back their team from last season. Bucks fans got to see how the team’s personnel would handle the postseason, and a few Bucks stood out as battle-ready.

Greg Monroe didn’t get the headlines and highlights that Giannis did, but he was truly fantastic in the six games Milwaukee played against the Toronto Raptors. Monroe, as always, is undersold by his per game statistics due to his reserve role.

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Moose averaged a very solid 13.2 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1.3 steals per game against Toronto — in just 23.5 minutes per game. Extrapolating those numbers out to per 36 values produces some jaw-dropping results.

Against the Raptors in the playoffs, Monroe averaged 20.2 points, 11.2 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 2.0 steals per 36 minutes. The only player to average 20-10-2-2 in the postseason per game last year was Russell Westbrook. Only Monroe and Westbrook averaged that line per 36 minutes.

Moose didn’t just do well, he demolished Toronto, and was effective on both sides of the ball. With Monroe on the floor, Milwaukee scored 104.5 points per 100 possessions (no Buck caused Milwaukee to be better on offense than Moose) and allowed just 99.3 points per 100 possessions.

That net rating of 5.2, the mark the Bucks outscored the Raptors by per 100 possessions by with Moose on the floor, is the best margin Milwaukee posted with any single player on the court against Toronto. Monroe carried the team in his limited postseason minutes last year.

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The best part of it is that Monroe was able to do really well when combined with Bucks not named Giannis Antetokounmpo. When Monroe and Malcolm Brogdon were on the floor together, the Bucks outscored the Raptors by 10.9 points per 100 possessions.

The bench mob pairing of Moose and Michael Beasley led to Milwaukee blasting the Raptors by a huge mark, some 18.8 points per 100 possessions in the brief 36 minutes they played together. That sounds like a small sample size, but 36 minutes is enough to swing a game or two in a series.

Although it put Milwaukee in a delicate financial position, the Bucks are much better off for having Greg Monroe for their playoff push this season. He’s an expensive piece, but one that the Milwaukee Bucks would have no way to replace in the regular season, much less the 2017-18 postseason, when Monroe will figure to beat up on the competition once again.

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It’s really fantastic that Moose was so damn good in the playoffs. All he wanted to do was get there when he signed with Milwaukee in 2015, and after having to wait an extra year Monroe was still ready to make quite the impact when the games mattered most.