Center Greg Monroe shining for Pistons

Through 16 games, Greg Monroe is on pace to put his name among the elite centers in the NBA.

Monroe is averaging 16.5 points and 9.4 rebounds.

But it’s his playmaking skill that makes him different from other bigs. His 3.6 assists per game put him third among NBA centers behind the Grizzlies’ Marc Gasol (4.8 entering Wednesday) and the Bulls’ Joakim Noah (4.0).

Coach Lawrence Frank said before Wednesday’s game that the assist total is part of the plan, and Monroe, 22, only has scratched the surface of his potential.

– Reported by Vince Ellis of theĀ Detroit Free Press