Celtics news 365: Big man Greg Monroe trending up for Boston

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 24: Greg Monroe
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 24: Greg Monroe /

Boston Celtics center Greg Monroe continues to give the team and fans something to be optimistic about.  The veteran big man showed low-post dominance against the Houston Rockets Saturday night.

Another game, another reason to feel optimistic about Greg Monroe.  Following a 14-point performance against the Charlotte Hornets, the Boston Celtics big man came off the bench to contribute 18 points on 6-of-9 shooting Saturday night in the team’s 123-120 loss to the Houston Rockets.

What Celtics fans should be encouraged about with the performance is how energetic he looked on both sides of the court.  Not only was he proficient around the basket offensively, he grabbed six rebounds and at least took up some space down low defensively.

Monroe all showed off some of his passing skills as he logged a plus/minus rating of plus-23.  Compare that to the -22 of Al Horford and one could definitely argue that Greg Monroe was the Celtics best chance to pull off a victory against the Rockets.

So, what has changed with Monroe since joining the Celtics?

He has certainly shown more aggressiveness in the past two games and his comfort level with the team is showing as well.

"“I was just trying to be aggressive,” Monroe said following the game, via Celtics.com.  “I found my spots, got a lot of easy buckets from my teammates.  That was really it.  When I feel like I have opportunities to be aggressive, I try to do that.”"

In all, it is nice to see a big man who gives the Boston Celtics a consistent low-post game.  Granted, it has only been two games in which Monroe has been effective, but this is the type of production the team hoped for in their pursuit of him the last few seasons.

If he continues trending in the right direction, there is no doubt the Celtics will have one of the deepest and best benches in the league.

Daniel Theis should return vs. Bulls 

Celtics rookie Daniel Theis, who missed last Wednesday’s game against the Charlotte Hornets due to a sore hamstring, was expected back against the Houston Rockets on Saturday night.

Theis never got off the bench in that game, but it appeared to be more of a coach’s decision rather than any set back due to the hamstring.  The promising big man should see some time against the Chicago Bulls Monday night.

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So far this season, Theis is averaging 5.4 points and 4.4 rebounds for the Celtics off the bench.

Coach’s corner 

Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens has put the lid of any Gordon Hayward return talk.

Like he has previously said, the team does not expect the All-Star forward back this season following a gruesome injury to begin the season.

Despite the recent videos showing Hayward on the basketball court, Stevens says he is progressing, but still a long way away.

"“It’s great, and I think the videos are great, too, because, like, it continues to show the progress,” Stevens said, via Masslive.com.  “Because sometimes when you’re in the midst of that long rehab, you don’t feel the progress of the day to day the way now we all might see a video and say, ‘Man, he is really getting better.’  But he’s a super long way away from even being in a one-on-one workout where he’s cutting.”"

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Fans will have to take Stevens’ word for now.  But, if a video appears of Gordon Hayward dunking the ball, hope of a return this season will rise once again.