Celtics

Fitting Greg Monroe in remains a work in progress for Celtics

Brad Penner/USA Today Sports

Greg Monroe began his Celtic career with some success. Just hours after the trade deadline passed in Washington D.C., he posted 5 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals in his debut against the Wizards, as his new teammates outscored the opposition by 10 points with him on the floor during an overtime win. He even saw a couple crunch-time minutes.

Nearly three weeks later, that stint remains the highlight of Monroe’s tenure as a Celtic. The 6-foot-11 big man has played five more games in green since that initial appearance, and he’s struggled in parts of each contest. The Georgetown product is shooting just 41.6 percent from the field over that stretch, including an uncharacteristically low 27.3 from 3-10 feet (41 percent season average).

The offensive slump (Monroe is shooting a career-high 57.6 percent for the season) is not much to worry about. He’s missed a number of shots on postups that have largely been good looks. They are the type of attempts the C’s second-unit offense needs more of: high-percentage shots from a reasonable distance. With a lack of effective penetrators in that bench unit, the reserves often become too dependent on their unpredictable jump shots in the halfcourt. Monroe’s presence in the post should provide a nice change of pace on that front when he gets comfortable.

But if you're Brad Stevens, the bigger concern right now is Monroe’s defense.