Celtics Notes: Greg Monroe Finding Groove At Right Time For Boston

Greg Monroe’s career with the Boston Celtics didn’t get off to the most impressive start.

But just in time for the playoffs, “The Moose” is rounding into form.

The Boston Celtics lost 112-106 to the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday. Whatever — doesn’t really matter. We’re here to talk about Monroe and his 17 points, which marked the third consecutive game the burly center has recorded at least 15 points.

Monroe’s effort against the Hawks comes after he notched a triple-double against the Chicago Bulls on Friday. Furthermore, in his last four games, the 27-year-old is averaging 15.5 points, 7.75 boards and 4.75 assists.

Are those All-Star numbers? No, of course not. But Monroe’s play down the stretch proves he’s capable of getting big-time minutes in the playoffs, especially for a team that might have to play a bigger game without the services of Kyrie Irving and Marcus Smart.

But let’s forget about the numbers for a second. If you’ve watched the Celtics over the last couple weeks, you know that Monroe looks far more comfortable in the Celtics’ offense than he did early in his tenure. Perhaps more importantly, he’s become a serviceable defender after coming to Boston with the reputation of being a liability.

Kudos, once again, to head coach Brad Stevens.

At the end of the day, Monroe probably isn’t going to lead the Irving-less Celtics to the NBA Finals. But if the C’s draw a team with a talented big man in the playoffs, Monroe could play a key role in whether Boston makes it to — or perhaps beyond — the second round.

Here are some other notes from Celtics-Hawks:

— Rookie Semi Ojeleye scored a career-high 13 points.

— With 16 points against Atlanta, Al Horford now has recorded at least 10 points in seven consecutive games — a season high.

— If you’re among those enamored with the recent play of Jabari Bird, here’s a reminder of what stands in between him and a spot on the playoff roster:

— The C’s will play the Washington Wizards on Tuesday in the penultimate game of the regular season.

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images

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