Greg Monroe will represent the Pistons at the NBA lottery this week, which is ironic for two reasons. If the rest of the Pistons had shown as much professionalism as Monroe did, the team wouldn't be in the lottery. And this may be the first time all year they are actually calling Monroe's number.

"I probably could count them on my hand, the plays that were called for me throughout the year," Monroe said Friday.

Monroe laughed as he said it, and I doubt he is bitter about John Kuester's offensive choices. But it was ridiculous. Monroe was arguably the Pistons' best player for the last half of the season.

He had 21 double-doubles in his last 48 games, and averaged 13.7 points and 10 rebounds after the All-Star break. He finished sixth in the league in field-goal percentage, and his hands are so quick that while you were reading this sentence, he lifted your wallet, then put it back in your pocket with an extra $20 in it, because he is that kind of guy.

While the franchise was pretty much in flames all season, Monroe -- a rookie! -- was a model of professionalism. He showed up at the Palace at age 20, expecting to play for an NBA team, and instead he was drafted into the circus. The players revolted against the coach. Every week seemed to bring a new absurdity.

"It definitely caught me off guard, being my first year, a couple of the things that happened," Monroe said. "But none of those things happened with me personally. I just made sure I came to work and came to the gym. It didn't have anything to do with me."

I think Monroe's excellent attitude explains why Kuester didn't call plays for him. Kuester knew Monroe would give everything he had every day whether Kuester called plays for him or not. The coach took advantage of it.