Pregame Post-Ups: Monroe Looking to Step Up in Theis' Absence

Wednesday, Feb. 28 - Hornets at Celtics

Pregame – Monroe Looking to Step Up in Theis' Absence

BOSTON - Daniel Theis, nursing a right hamstring injury, will be inactive for the first time all season tonight when the Boston Celtics host the Charlotte Hornets at TD Garden. This means significant minutes will be coming Greg Monroe's way.

One of the main reasons why the Celtics signed Monroe earlier this month was to add depth to their thin frontcourt. With Theis out and Aron Baynes playing through an elbow injury, Monroe's addition should be put to good use tonight against Charlotte's strong frontcourt led by Dwight Howard.

"Ironically, Theis and Baynes, who have been as durable as any, have both missed games in the first four out of the break," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said ahead of the 7:30 p.m. tip-off. "So obviously it's great to have that extra depth.

"It's a great opportunity for Greg," the coach added. "[Charlotte's] got a lot of big guys. They've got guys that are coming off pick-and-rolls that are tough and we're going to need him to be his best for us tonight."

Monroe has suited up during six of a possible seven games for the Celtics, posting averages of 5.7 points and 4.7 rebounds over 13.6 minutes per game. Understandably, it's been a challenge to integrate himself into a new system in the middle of the season, but Stevens has little doubt that the eight-year veteran will be able to discover a rhythm with the C's.

"I think that he's really smart, so he'll pick it up," said Stevens, who sat Monroe during Monday's game in favor of Baynes and Theis. "We've got good players, and everybody brings something different to the table. What Greg does well may not be what Baynes does well and it may not be what Theis does well. But they all bring something that's really unique to them. And as far as the other night, I just felt like those guys that were in there were giving us our best chance against that team (Memphis). And that's the way we'll do it the rest of the year. Obviously, we think highly of Greg and I'm hoping he plays great tonight."

As for Theis, Stevens said that the rookie big man's hamstring was not feeling well after Monday's game and has not improved over the last two days. The coach believes it will be a short-term injury, but added, "With muscular injuries you just never know."

In the meantime, expect an increased role for Monroe as he continues to settle in with his new squad.

- Taylor Snow