Decked out in a blue suit and red tie, Greg Monroe had to endure, for the first time in his life, not being able to affect a basketball game as the Pistons lost by 10 to the Knicks.

Aside from the first two games of his career — John Kuester-induced benchings — Monroe had played through aches and pains to the tune of 208 straight games before an ankle sprain caused him to sit out Wednesday's game.

"Yeah, it's different when I'm in street clothes," Monroe said. "The first two games (in 2010-11), I have my jersey on, if my number's called, I'll go in. (Wednesday) was tough, one game. But I expect to be ready tomorrow.

"It was tough, man. It was the first time in my life I've missed a game. I think the guys played hard, played well. It was a new experience for me."

He couldn't put much weight on his left ankle before game time Wednesday, and with the team not in contention for a playoff spot, they took the prudent action and let the dependable big man have a seat behind the bench.

The Pistons played only three big men (Jonas Jerebko, Jason Maxiell, Slava Kravtsov) in Wednesday's loss, but when Monroe's X-rays came out negative, he seemed pretty sure he'd be able to play today — quelling early concerns that any nick or bruise would be enough to shut him down for a length of time since the team isn't playing for anything substantive aside from lottery positioning.

With 19 games remaining, Monroe said the team's mental approach hasn't waned, despite some of their lopsided losses of late.

"Guys aren't slowing down. Guys still have the same focus to go out and win games," Monroe said.



From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130308/SPORTS0102/303080344#ixzz2MwuVLE17