Pistons center Greg Monroe is a big fan of NBA All-Star weekend.

Monroe watches every event, especially the Slam Dunk Contest, and said he isn't frustrated that he won't be representing the Eastern Conference in the All-Star Game Sunday night.

"To say that would mean I believe there are people in the game that don't deserve it," he said Wednesday. "And there's probably a couple more that's not in the game that's more worthy than I am."

Monroe played in the NBA Rising Stars Challenge in his first two seasons, so this will be his first season away from the festivities. Guard Brandon Knight will represent the Pistons in the Rising Stars Challenge, and rookie center Andre Drummond will make the trip to Houston despite being sidelined because of a back injury.

After he was considered an All-Star snub last year, some hoped that Monroe would reach the next level in his third season, but his numbers haven't really improved from the 2011-12 season.

Monroe's points per game (16.1) and assists (3.2) are up a bit, but his field-goal percentage (49.3) and rebounds (9.6) are down slightly.

"I'm just focusing on doing what I have to do so that I'm the best player for this team," said Monroe, who plans to spend the break at home in New Orleans. "Stuff like that will always fall into place as long as you take care of the right things."

And for Monroe, the way to take another step forward in his career is by winning more games. The Pistons (21-33) enter the All-Star break outside the playoff picture, and it's often difficult for players on losing squads to earn recognition.

"We have to find a way to get better as a team and get our record better to be a contender for the playoffs," he said.

Continuing his career best double-double streak — he reached eight with 16 points and 18 rebounds in Wednesday's victory over the Washington Wizards — could be one way to help the Pistons win more in the short term and make Monroe a better, more consistent leader in the long term.

"I think what you do every day defines who you are," coach Lawrence Frank said, "and the ability to play both ends — obviously when you're cleaning up the rebounds and you're able to be an efficient scorer — it helps."



From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130214/SPORTS0102/302140388#ixzz2KtHjgOMq