Bucks’ Greg Monroe thriving off bench

Greg Monroe of the Milwaukee Bucks is averaging 15.1 points per game off the bench over his last nine games.
Leon Halip-USA TODAY Sports

Greg Monroe has done more than settle in to his new role off the bench for the Milwaukee Bucks. He’s thriving in it.

Monroe has scored in double digits in nine straight games, which is the third-longest such streak in the NBA for players coming off the bench behind just Miami’s Tyler Johnson (13) and Memphis’ Zach Randolph (12).

Over that nine-game span, Monroe is averaging 15.1 points on 51.4 percent shooting. But he’s not just scoring. Monroe is also averaging 8.3 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.4 steals during his streak. In addition, three times in those nine games Monroe posted a double-double.

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If not for playing just 14 minutes against Minnesota on Dec. 30 — a game in which he scored just eight points — Monroe’s double-digit point streak could be at 13, as in the three previous games he had 12, 16 and 14 points — as well as another double-double.

Among non-starters, Monroe is fourth in the NBA in double-doubles with nine. He’s also second in steals per game (1.2), second in rebounds per game (6.9) and third in field-goal percentage (51.8).

On paper and at first glance, people might think Monroe’s play is actually down this season. But keep in mind that after starting 401 times in 463 career games entering this season, Monroe has come off the bench in all of his 39 appearances in 2016-17.

And despite his lower-than-usual statistics, his numbers per 36 minutes are actually among his career best. Monroe is averaging 18.5 points per 36 minutes, which is tied for his second-highest in his career. His 8.4 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 2.1 steals per 36 minutes are all career highs.

In addition, Monroe’s PER (player efficiency rating) of 22.0 is a career best, his .161 win shares per 48 minutes is tied for his career high (2011-12 in his second season with Detroit), while his rebounding (18.4), assist (17.6) and steal (2.9) percentages are all career highs. His steal percentage also ranks eighth overall in the NBA. Finally, Monroe’s 24.0 percent usage percentage is his second best.

Other notes:

— Houston, Milwaukee’s opponent Wednesday, has scored 100+ points in 30 consecutive games.

— Since Christmas, the Bucks are shooting 50.4 percent from the field, which is the third-best percentage over that span.

— Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker are combining to average 43.9 points per game. The only frontcourt duos in the NBA who average more points are Cleveland’s LeBron James and Kevin Love (46.3).

Statistics courtesy STATS and basketball-reference.com