While major changes may be coming soon for the Pistons, the untouchable piece of the puzzle is definitely Andre Drummond. The second year pro has learned quickly, and become THE guy on a Pistons team with solid talent. Andre Drummond is a gifted young big man in a league that has seen a drop in production from the center position. While the rest of the league is playing small ball the Pistons have played big with power forward Greg Monroe, and the man in the middle, Andre Drummond.
Drummond only spent one year at the University of Connecticut where he averaged a solid 10 points and 8 boards as a freshman. Drummond wasn’t quite mature enough to dominate the college ranks, but you could see the talent, and you knew he had a chance to be something special. The Pistons saw the talent as well, and selected Drummond ninth overall in the 2012 NBA Draft.
Drummond’s rookie season was like that of many first year players in the NBA, up and down. Drummond didn’t get the consistent minutes he needed to perform at his peak, and his awful free throw shooting (37%, bad even by Dwight Howard’s standards) sometimes kept him on the bench for long stretches, and during crunch time.
The light has now turned on for Drummond in his second year, and he has become the physical force down low that the Pistons need. Drummond, who will only just turn 22 later this year, has looked like a grown man down low shooting the ball at an amazing 62% on offense while still getting 1.6 blocks on the defensive end. Drummond has seen increases in his statistics across the board, and the 12 extra minutes per night have definitely been the catalyst. Drummond is now averaging over 13 points and 13 boards per game. A superb line for anyone, especially a 21 year old playing just his second season in The Association. His 13 rebounds a night are good for second in the league trailing only Deandre Jordan of the Los Angeles Clippers.
Drummond still has weaknesses, the first of which is free throw shooting (up to 41% yikes). He also, like all the current Pistons, needs help on defensive positioning, but the positives greatly outweigh the negatives. Whoever the Pistons bring in to coach the squad should be able to help Drummond on the defensive end, because that clearly hasn’t been a focus of the recent regime.
Over the course of the season Drummond has proven to be the guy to build around. With Drummond at just 21years young, and improving at a rapid rate, the Pistons should move quickly to lock the young big man up with a long term deal. They may have to part with some key players to do it, but the Pistons just can’t let Drummond get away.
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