Despite the Detroit Pistons struggling to get above .500 through the first 43 games of the 2013-‘14 regular season, the organization has a bright future, especially with big man, Andre Drummond.
Drummond is not your typical big man. His scoring is just around average, putting up just 12.8 points per game. But, he out-hustles everyone on the court.
As soon as a shot is thrown up, Drummond quickly boxes out his man and grabs the rebound. His 12.8 rebounds per game ranks third among all players, only behind Kevin Love and DeAndre Jordan.
Not only does he commandeer the boards on defense, but he also averages 5.2 offensive rebounds per game – the best in the NBA. Roughly 41% of his rebounds come on offense, helping him give Detroit multiple opportunities to score second-chance points.
Competing with All-Stars like Love and Dwight Howard for the rebounding ‘title’ in just his second season, Drummond’s future is undeniably bright.
Drummond is also a very smart player when it comes to shooting. He rarely takes any bad shots and is always searching for a better look. He has shot an astounding 60.1% from the field, third best among all players.
Entering the 2012 NBA Draft, Drummond’s draft stock began to decrease, as questions about his motor and desire to play began to arise. He was classified as a “high-risk, high-reward” type of player.
He was only a freshman when he declared for the NBA Draft, which may have also been a factor to his drop in draft stock. In 34 games for the University of Connecticut, Drummond posted a solid stat line, averaging 10 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks per game.
Although that is solid numbers, Drummond believes that may have caused him to drop. “Honestly, I think it was just because of the way I played at UConn,” Drummond said. “I didn’t have the best year. We lost in the first round and I think there was a lot of weight on my shoulders knowing that I didn’t play the way I was supposed to play.”
However, with the ninth overall pick in the 2012 Draft, the Pistons took a risk and were rewarded with one of the most talented players in that draft class.
In his sophomore year, Drummond has grown into a defensive force. He not only can rebound with ease, but he can send shots flying in the opposite direction as well. He averages 1.84 blocks per game, ranked eighth among qualified players (on pace for 70 games played or 100 shots blocked).
In his 43 games, Drummond has seen a pretty substantial increase in his minutes per game, going from 20.7 to 32.7. Head Coach Maurice Cheeks is not worried about monitoring his minutes saying, “It’s hard to cut his minutes and certain guys’ minutes,” current Pistons coach Maurice Cheeks said. “We don’t want to take it for granted to play 35 minutes and think it’s easy to do. People leaning on you and trying to do all these things, it’s hard. I think he’s capable.”
At just 20-years-old, Drummond is a very talented player, and there is no doubt he is a future All-Star. He still has room for improvement and has yet to enter his “prime.” Alongside Greg Monroe, Drummond has learned to become a rebounding force, as the Pistons have one of the best front courts in the NBA.
He even got invited to be one of 28 players in the Team USA pool with a chance to participate in the 2014 FIBA World Cup as well as the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Whether, it is getting the rebound, stopping shots from going in, or converting an alley-oop, Drummond is arguably one of the best big men in the NBA.
Quotations were used from PistonPowered and Detroit News