Greg Monroe may currently come off the bench for the young Milwaukee Bucks but he would be the number one post player on almost any other team in the league. He is big, strong and ferocious and has an intense athleticism under the hoop. “Moose,” as he is known around the league, has proven he can still be valuable to a team in today’s NBA as an “enforcer type” although the league seems to have evolved, forcing his normal style of play into near extinction.
The NBA is a copycat league just like the other pro sports leagues and when the best team in the NBA went small and athletic, it seemed to force everyone else’s hand. Players now days are shooting from the outside at an almost alarming rate and teams are now being built defensively to play the perimeter instead of the post, on both sides of the ball. General Managers used to look through the draft for seven-footers who could eat up a ton of space underneath the basket and cause chaos for players trying to drive the paint. Now they seem to look for point guards with great ball handling ability who aren’t afraid to “splash” from deep outside.
Monroe is the type of player who can be a consistent starter and give you that old-school offensive look against the league’s taller and thinner post players. He can also come off the bench and rough up the other team’s back up center and forwards, while the came is already in progress. Imagine if “Moose” started forcing Draymond Green down into the paint instead of allowing him to roam around the court and harass other players. All of a sudden that would open up Cleveland’s outside game, and we know how well they shoot when the pressure is off. The rest of the Warriors team would be confused and outmatched if they were actually forced to play “big-ball.”
When Steph Curry’s shot is one he can hit forty footers with the ease and confidence most players use when dumping in a layup or slamming home a dunk. Klay Thompson has also shown he can be money from the outside against the Cavs, and we all know about Kevin Durant. You aren’t going to beat this Golden State team at their own game very often. You can, however, try to make them play your style and throw a wrench in their game plan.
Cleveland may have to take a page out of the Warriors book and give up some of the depth on their bench, to free up the space go get a big body to rule under the rim. LeBron, Kevin Love and Monroe would make a very pretty trio, especially with Kyrie Irving getting them the ball. It may seem like a pipe dream for now, but with Greg Monroe having the ability to decide this offseason if he wants to exercise his option to stay in Milwaukee or not, this may be the perfect time for the Cavs to make their move.