Detroit Pistons’ All-Star Center and former University of Connecticut alum Andre Drummond, has established himself as one of the league’s premier interior presences.
Not only has Drummond provided help to remind ourselves of how imposing an NBA Center can be, especially when he’s dominant on the boards, but also having that special ability to take pressure away from his perimeter teammates. That’s also been his forte.
But if there’s anything that’ll bother you about him, is that Drummond doesn’t specialize in anything outside of rebounding and providing mobility. And this season — it just might be where he’s finally exposed in a “very-lost” era of basketball.
For what we know, the typical NBA big-man in today’s league needs to either become a perimeter shooter, or at least have some kind of offense around them, not just to remain relavent — but to also win. It’s kind of like a “You either eat, let others eat, or you’ll all be eaten” kind of rule.
Well for the Pistons, they haven’t corresponded to becoming an “elite” shooting team, connecting on about 34% of their three-pointers taken. That mark ranks 24th overall. Other than Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who’s shooting 40% from behind the arc, key-Pistons Marcus Morris (32%), Tobias Harris (34%), Stanley Johnson (30%) and Ish Smith (25%) have all struggled to find any form of confidence from outside.
So what does this mean for Drummond? If shooters around him aren’t finding their rythym, yet aren’t looking to find more touches for their All-Star Center, then where’s the fit? So many questions to ask about Detroit’s stagnated offense, but there’s no denying that there’s only one solution: Changes need to be made.
Many will hint that it’s more than unlikely that the Pistons would even consider to trade Andre — for any good measure. However, for a team that’s struggling to move forward in the Eastern Conference (Currently 18-24, 11th in the East) hasn’t found their direction. Here’s a look at a few struggles Andre has had within Detroit.
- Pistons have a 105.5 Offensive Rating when Drummond is on the floor; 107.4 when off.
- Pistons Total Rebounding percentages increase by 2.5% without Drummond.
- Team Opponent’s Offensive Rating falls from 111.0 to 99.4 (!!!) when Drummond sits.
To think statistically that Detroit is a better team on both ends should surprise anyone who hasn’t watched them consistently this year, but it doesn’t for Pistons’ head coach Stan Van Gundy, who’s noted under countless times that he isn’t pleased with Drummond’s development:
“He hasn’t been as good a basket protector as he probably should be.” Van Gundy spoke in a recent interview after a 110-77 loss to the Utah Jazz on Friday night, via larrybrownsports.com. “For us to become a real good defensive team, he’s got to improve in that area.”
To add-on, Van Gundy is certainly precise. As a defender, Andre has fallen off as one of the league’s best, compared to seasons prior. In the 2015-16 campaign, his Defensive Rating was a considerable 102.
2016-17? Just above 108.
And what’s ironic is that if we look at these Piston-teams built around Drummond, they’re very similar to how Van Gundy’s former Orlando-teams were built around Dwight Howard. But of course, Andre hasn’t been half the interior defender that Howard was.
I do want to point-out that Drummond also allows his matchups to shoot 52% against him, which is worse than notable Centers such as Tyson Chandler, Mason Plumlee, Jonas Valuanciunas, Joakim Noah, and if I haven’t made you laugh yet — even Jahlil Okafor.
After signing a five-year, $127 million contract back in July, making him the highest-paid Free-Agent Piston ever, Andre hasn’t quite exceeded that bid. Although it’s certainly not too late for him. Again, the guy is 23-years old.
But could there be a better situation for Drummond to re-establish himself? It’s uncertain whether Detroit would want to continue moving forward with him if they fail to even make the postseason.
Which team could be interested in Andre? Let’s hear the discussions!
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