clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Brew Hoop Season Review: Greg Monroe and Michael Carter-Williams

New, comments

It's Conference Finals time in the NBA, but offseason prep time for the Milwaukee Bucks. We continue our Season Review series by looking at two of the most polarizing players on the roster: MCW and Moose.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

And we're back! For a full recap of where we started and where we've gone so far, check out the story stream here.

This is the moment at least some of you have been waiting for. Down to the last five players on the roster, we focus our attention on two of the most divisive Bucks in recent memory: post-scoring-aficionado Greg Monroe, and do-it-all-with-varying-degrees-of-success point guard Michael Carter-Williams. Discussion of both players this season has been extensive (or perhaps exhaustive?), so let's dive right in!

Greg Monroe

Statistical Recap:

Greg Monroe

MP/G

FG/G

FGA/G

FG%

3P/G

3PA/G

3P%

2P/G

2PA/G

2P%

FT/G

FTA/G

FT%

ORB/G

DRB/G

TRB/G

AST/G

STL/G

BLK/G

TOV/G

PF/G

PTS/G

PER GAME

29.3

6.2

11.9

0.522

0

0

0

6.2

11.9

0.522

2.9

3.9

0.74

2.8

6.1

8.8

2.3

0.9

0.8

1.6

2.1

15.3

PER 36

MP

FG / 36

FGA / 36

3P / 36

3PA / 36

2P / 36

2PA / 36

FT / 36

FTA / 36

ORB / 36

DRB / 36

TRB / 36

AST / 36

STL / 36

BLK / 36

TOV / 36

PF / 36

PTS / 36

2314

7.6

14.6

0

0

7.6

14.6

3.5

4.8

3.4

7.4

10.8

2.8

1.1

1

2

2.5

18.8

ADVANCED

G

PER

eFG%

TS%

3PAr

FTr

ORB%

DRB%

TRB%

AST%

STL%

BLK%

TOV%

OWS

DWS

WS

WS/48

OBPM

DBPM

BPM

VORP

USG%

79

21.8

0.522

0.562

0.001

0.327

10.9

23.4

17.2

13.2

1.6

2.5

10.7

5

2.4

7.5

0.155

1.3

0.2

1.5

2.1

23.5

Synopsis:

Greg Monroe is exactly who he was last year, and the year before that, and the year before that. Moose is a consistent bucket-getter in the post, a reliable-if-uninspiring rebounder, and a willing passer in the half-court. He is also a pretty bad defender, despite his stout frame and willingness to communicate. Monroe's lack of athleticism was feared to be a poor fit in Milwaukee's blitzing defense reliant on heavy doses of switching...and as it happens, those fears were valid. And for everybody who theorized that he could replicate the performance of Zaza Pachulia? Including myself? Yeah...no.

Still, Greg Monroe is a really good basketball player! He's an efficient scorer, and one of the better passers from the C position in the league. He's a relatively high-usage guy, and his free throw rate isn't nearly as high as his shouts of "AND ONE!" would indicate, so there's definitely ways for him to improve as a player (both overall and as a part of the Bucks' roster). But then again, after six years in the league, perhaps this is his ceiling?

And then the contract situation comes into play, where Monroe is guaranteed for only one more season before a player option could set him loose on the free agent market when the cap is at its highest point. Does he fit? If so, is that fit sustainable? If not, do you move him? To where, for whom? Tons of questions about the best player signed in free agency in franchise history.

Brew Hoop Staff Grades:

Offense Defense Improvement Fit Going Forward Overall Season
7.67 3.17 4.83 3.50 6.17

Michael Carter-Williams

Statistical Recap:

Michael Carter-Williams

MP/G

FG/G

FGA/G

FG%

3P/G

3PA/G

3P%

2P/G

2PA/G

2P%

FT/G

FTA/G

FT%

ORB/G

DRB/G

TRB/G

AST/G

STL/G

BLK/G

TOV/G

PF/G

PTS/G

PER GAME

30.5

4.6

10.3

0.452

0.3

1

0.273

4.4

9.3

0.472

2

3

0.654

0.9

4.2

5.1

5.2

1.5

0.8

2.8

3

11.5

PER 36

MP

FG / 36

FGA / 36

3P / 36

3PA / 36

2P / 36

2PA / 36

FT / 36

FTA / 36

ORB / 36

DRB / 36

TRB / 36

AST / 36

STL / 36

BLK / 36

TOV / 36

PF / 36

PTS / 36

1649

5.5

12.1

0.3

1.2

5.2

10.9

2.3

3.5

1

5

6

6.1

1.7

0.9

3.3

3.5

13.6

ADVANCED

G

PER

eFG%

TS%

3PAr

FTr

ORB%

DRB%

TRB%

AST%

STL%

BLK%

TOV%

OWS

DWS

WS

WS/48

OBPM

DBPM

BPM

VORP

USG%

54

13.9

0.466

0.497

0.099

0.292

3.4

15.7

9.6

26.6

2.5

2.1

19.6

-0.4

1.6

1.2

0.035

-1.6

0.9

-0.8

0.5

21.3

Synopsis:

Few players exist in a more complex environment (at least in our comments section) than MCW. Traded from the team that saw him win the Rookie of the Year, joining a squad that had just replaced their best player with him and still made the playoffs, and then took a huge step back the following year. It was a tumultuous three seasons for Carter-Williams by any measure.

But things really were starting to turn around for MCW this season. He took fewer shots (14+ attempts per game, down to 10 per game) and was the most accurate he'd been (FG% of 45.2%, TS% of 49.7%, both career-highs). He still struggled with turnovers, but was lowering his usage by a fair margin (21.3%, career-low). His problems weren't solved, but there was actual progression happening.

Then a hip injury sidelined him for the remainder of the season, and his (relatively modest) improvements were quickly forgotten after Point Giannis-mania took over.

Brew Hoop Staff Grades:

Offense Defense Improvement Fit Going Forward Overall Season
3.83 5.50 4.67 4.00 4.83

Mitchell says: It's a shame MCW got hurt when he did, because he had started to show signs of understanding his ideal role, if not accepting it.

Frank says: MCW's defensive lapses can be frustrating, but his ability to make plays out of his area -- blocks, steals and rebounds -- mean he can still be a difference maker.

Brett says: MCW has to be one of the best in the league in late-game defensive plays, let alone for a point guard. And how many point guards do you know who can rotate over and protect the rim against wings and bigs? Like Frank said, it's too bad he's so darn spotty and inconsistent. His poor marks under "Fit" assumes he doesn't find himself into a bench role (and accept it). The fit is probably signficantly better at that point.

Mitchell says: MCW could easily earn a higher mark in "Fit", and maybe even "Offense" if he can reinvent himself as a catalyst off the bench. As a 6th (or 7th!) man, MCW would be better-situated to take advantage of his strengths and avoid getting done in by his flaws. I would even go so far as to have him switch positions entirely, from ball-dominant PG to versatile, do-it-all non-shooting SG.

Bonus discussion! Mitchell asks: MCW: Extend, Trade, or Cut?

Mitchell says: My answer depends entirely upon what position he wants to play. If he insists on playing PG, I’m looking to trade him. If he’s willing to become more of a wing, I would totally be willing to try and extend him to a cheap (emphasis on CHEAP) deal.

Brett says: My answer depends, too, but not on the position he wants to play (MCW playing off-ball on the wing sounds gross to me). If he were willing to come off the bench, you might be able to talk me into keeping him around as a sixth man/random defensive specialist. But I think he’s suffering from a classic case of "Point Guard Ego-itis" (like Bucks PGs of the past), and I don’t think he’s ready to accept a role like that just yet. I’ll go with ‘trade.’

Eric B says: I don’t know, probably trade. His value is questionable in lieu of the injury, but his fit on this roster isn’t any less questionable, to me at least. I’ll just take the option that seems to present the best future value at this point. *shrug*

Mitchell says: Brett, you mentioned that MCW off-ball on the wing was gross. What if he were surrounded more by shooters, like Bayless and Vaughn? He’s 6’6", he should be able to cover 2s and 3s, does that change your take?

Brett says: My issue has nothing to do with who he guards, or anything on the defensive side of the ball. But the only value I think he really has on offense is with the ball in his hands, and using his size to finish over a smaller defender. You put him on the wing and not only do you take away his size advantage, but also presumably he’s spotting up more often than not, and I kind of don’t want to watch that. I don’t know, maybe I’ve been watching too much DeRozan and Wade in the playoffs…

Mitchell says: Not spotting up on the wing. That IS gross. But I want him running around and creating chaos off-the-ball like Rip Hamilton used to do. I want him setting off-ball screens and using off-ball screens to cut. I want him to be the best conditioned player in NBA history, and when he DOES get the ball, to get it on the move, where he can immediately transition into attacking a seam or finding a teammate. He can NEVER STOP MOVING on the floor, and if that means he’s capped at 20 mpg, so be it. But I legitimately think that’s his path to NBA relevance, off the bench.

Frank says: MCW could make for a high-quality sixth man, and maybe somewhere at some stage of his career he can be a decent starter. It’s possible. But running like Rip Hamilton doesn’t help that much when you shoot like Rip Torn, so I tend to agree with Brett -- especially on a team that really needs its non-core guys to shoot. Which is something of a shame, because with the right mindset MCW could be a great team defender and second-unit chaos-creator. Unfortunately, there’s so much baggage with him in Milwaukee at this point that everyone seems better off moving on. MCW being the whipping boy of the Brandon Knight deal isn’t fun for anyone, and I think MCW might still be able to fetch you a rotation player or perhaps even a mid-first, if for no other reason than he’s a legit NBA rotation player who will make less than $3 million next season. I guess we’ll know soon enough?

Eric N says: Like Frank mentioned, teams don’t cover you as you whip around screens if you can’t shoot. It’s why the Bucks rarely ran a lot of action for Antetokounmpo or Parker this season. They’re wide open every time they touch the ball, so what would be the point of running them around a number of screens to get them open?  Carter-Williams has to be on the ball to diminish his weaknesses (sound like another guy on the roster?), so a second-team role is absolutely necessary, but that’s a role that likely won’t be particularly attractive to him. Ultimately, a trade seems like the best solution, especially considering a talented point guard on a rookie contract could be extremely valuable to a number of teams.

Mitchell says: Sorry, Michael. I tried to find a way to keep you around, I really did. WHY CAN’T YOU SHOOT?!

This might be the most interesting section on the roster; both players have demonstrated that they're NBA-level talent (in Monroe's case, near-All-Star-level talent), but they draw a lot of negative attention because of how they've played in Milwaukee. And to a certain extend, that attention is warranted...but also is a symptom of a team that's still trying to gather the most talent it can. We're still in the early stages of the rebuild, though pretty far along considering the last three players left to grade for the team. But that's for next time!

Disagree with any of our takes? Do you see a grade that just doesn't make sense to you? Leave it in the comments!