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Andre Drummond, no surprise, is among the season’s biggest surprises

Pistons fans who have had few bright spots to watch this season have obviously figured out that Andre Drummond is one of the few reasons to watch the Pistons during another awful start to the season. But just because we’ve had nothing better to do than dwell on Drummond’s impact doesn’t mean it’s still not one of the season’s biggest leaguewide surprises. From Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus (subscription required):

1. Andre Drummond, Detroit (.362 projected, .468 updated, +.106)

Naturally, rookies tend to make up most of the spots on this list, since we are less confident about our projections for them as they make the transition from the NCAA to the NBA. Drummond takes top honors on the strength of his .715 winning percentage to date. While nothing has changed in terms of our assessment of Drummond as a project, he has shown he can contribute far more than expected while developing. Coming off the bench, Drummond has been a monster as a rebounder and shot blocker while making 64.9 percent of his two-point attempts. Consider that against college opponents, Drummond shot 54.1 percent and collected just 15.6 percent of available defensive rebounds (now 21.0 percent). The next step for Drummond is maintaining something approaching that level in extended minutes and while playing alongside starter Greg Monroe.

Now if only someone would tell Lawrence Frank about that ‘next step.’

22 Comments

  • Nov 26, 20121:36 pm
    by Alan

    Reply

    I loves me some Andre Drummond.  But at 19 years old, its a lot to ask AD to play 30+ mpg over an 82 game season.  I don’t have a problem with Frank continuing the day-one, franchise promise to bring the rookie along slowly.

  • Nov 26, 20121:43 pm
    by Piston87

    Reply

    I’m gonna play devil’s advocate here for a second but perhaps Frank knows what he is doing with Drummond.  Drummond has surprised everyone this season with his level of play and is performing at a significantly higher level then he did in college against much tougher competition.  Perhaps the coaching staff should get some of the credit for this somewhat unexpected performance?  His effectiveness is not happening in a vacuum, and I certainly don’t believe that his performance has not been aided by good coaching.

         

    • Nov 26, 20122:19 pm
      by Rodman4Life

      Reply

      Ok, surrogate devil. But what specific examples do you have that would lead you to draw this conclusion? What does “effectiveness is not happening in a vacuum” mean exactly?

      • Nov 26, 20122:38 pm
        by Piston87

        Reply

        I’m not going to site specific examples of coaching on his effectiveness during a game because I’m not a coach.  He’s is a 19 year old who is rebounding and shooting better then he did in college.  My point is why can’t good coaching for the by the Piston’s coaching and training staff have something to do with his performance to date.  We want to blast Frank for not playing Andre enough but maybe we should also credit him for Andre playing well.

        A player as young and raw as Andre is most heavily influenced by coaching and training, much more so then a veteran who has a developed body and game.  Because of that his outstanding performance to date has to be partially credited to the coaching and training staff preparing him to play.  It’s not just Andre performing well out of the blue, it’s the staff preparing him well.

           

        • Nov 26, 20123:22 pm
          by vic

          Reply

          He suprised in Summer League too… And he dominated in HS.

          I see your point… but I think his motivation to outperform his “low motor” branding came from the media labeling him “low motor”

          no particularly from the coaches. 

          • Nov 26, 20124:12 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            The media labeled him ‘low motor’ because he had a ‘low motor’ in college. He wasn’t particularly motivated. It’s possible he only went to college for a year because he had to wait a year to enter the NBA Draft — and that’s not a criticism, I have no issue whatsoever with that. But the fact that Drummond didn’t start taking conditioning seriously until nearly the end of the college season, when he lost a bunch of weight, should be an indication that maybe he just was biding time until he became a pro.

        • Nov 26, 20125:35 pm
          by bugsygod

          Reply

          I think it is no question the coaching staff has helped him.  I think they have him focused and playing to his strengths.  But why does that stop them from playing him more?  Everyone can see that he is producing faster than anyone expected.  So why not play more with monroe?  If he is only gonna get 16 mins a game why not 10 of those be with monroe?  Why not like in the toronto game you just roll with him and see what he does?  If he sucks that night take him out he only gets 16 mins.  There is no logical excuse for Drummond not getting more minutes and minutes with monroe.  That is a failure of the head coach.

    • Nov 26, 20122:30 pm
      by MIKEYDE248

      Reply

      So far Drummond has looked good from the summer league and pre-season, so I would not give the coaching staff too many props.

    • Nov 26, 20123:06 pm
      by Desolation Row

      Reply

      This is a good point. Again, I hope the plan is to play him more minutes (25-30) after the trade deadline once we’ve a) traded Maxiell at peak value, or b) failed to move Maxiell and use him as Drummond’s backup. I’ll keep my ultimate judgement reserved until that point while still complaining that Drummond should play more minutes than he currently is (just because it’s so hard to watch a losing team that doesn’t play its best players).

      • Nov 26, 20123:57 pm
        by Scott Free

        Reply

        I’m cynical that any trades are going to be made, because Dumars (again) is faced with the same perennial problem, Maxiel and Prince are more valuable to the Pistons than they’d be to any other squad.  

        The reason other franchises are only interested in Monroe, is because thats the quality of the player they’re accustomed to acquiring. 

      • Nov 26, 20126:04 pm
        by Alan

        Reply

        +1

    • Nov 26, 20123:40 pm
      by D_S_V

      Reply

      If the staff gets credit for individual player development, they should also get credit for ruining CV, and now potentially Stuckey and JJ. I forgot who, but someone commented on the regression of a lot of these Pistons under Frank. Oh well. Not like any of those 3 were taking us to the promise land, more of a, “just saying” sort of thing to point out. 

      • Nov 26, 20124:06 pm
        by Scott Free

        Reply

        Stuckey, JJ, (and until recently Knight) had all regressed under Frank’s coaching from last-season’s lockout shortened season.  Its hard to compare the two, but enough of our Pistons look less comfortable this year than last on what is (on paper) a better squad.  I think that speaks to coaching problems.  

        The only players that look better than last year are Monroe (who’s confidence is on display as the offenses’ focal point), Prince (isolayshaun may not be a thing of the past, but it occurs less often, with better results, and a bit more urgency), and Maxiel (which is really only good for Jason’s free agency) 

      • Nov 26, 20124:43 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        good point, DSV

      • Nov 26, 20126:10 pm
        by Ozzie-Moto

        Reply

        I was the one that mentioned the regression. Also the incredably lousy record going all the way back to Darko (not that he wasn’t a project but we really didn’t help him along)  Amir’s surviving in Toronto. They way we handled him was a disaster, AA played well here is exactly the kind of 2 guard we need and was shipped off for nothing. Bynum taken a step back. Suckey was so over valued that when he couldn’t live up to JD expectations he now crashing to close to useless. same for CV.  Daye has been more productive in the past and even Ben Gordon lost his mojo here.   Teams need a hierarchy  It is rare that you can have 8-10 guys that are really good enough to make the playoffs etc and yet all think they should start (i think Denver a few years back was close ) A younger player can be patient and sit if the guy(s) in front of them are REALLY good enough to take a team to the playoffs but if they look at lazy vets playing out a string and are not getting developed it doesn’t take long to feel useless.  It is so much more than just playing time numbers. It is how and when and with who you are used.  JD and the last 3 coaches have a terrible record of getting the most of out players and JD has not given enough of a chance to the one’s he should have Arron Afflolo for one and not traded other players before they crash.  R Stuckey is a prime example  we could have traded him for Rondo at one point.    Just bad management of players.  I do think we have to make sure we don’t burn out Drummond out but his HUGE upside needs to be nurtured and respected more than time for loyal but very limited vets that really are back up players at best 

  • Nov 26, 20122:31 pm
    by MIKEYDE248

    Reply

    “The next step for Drummond is maintaining something approaching that level in extended minutes and while playing alongside starter Greg Monroe”

    I think this is what everyone is looking forward to.  Extended minutes and actually playing along side Monroe.

  • Nov 26, 20123:22 pm
    by EMBRACE THE PROCESS

    Reply

    I doubt frank has anything to do with Drummond success this year…. Drummond is out to prove he can play this game hard and be an impact player its that simple …. Btw: plenty of 19 year olds this seasons are playing quality minutes and making an impact … Drummond is making a impact but not getting the minutes

  • Nov 26, 20124:13 pm
    by Scott Free

    Reply

    They say over-and-over that Drummond is a sponge for coaching.  I think his meteoric rise is in part because he respects the teachings of guys like Monroe, Frank, and lets admit it, Jason Maxiel (which I suspect is the reason Max still starts).  This is a good environment for the big fella to learn, but not to flourish.  

    For these seeds to germinate Drummond needs consistant sunlight off of the bench and in games.  I’m not advocating the trial by fire route Knight had last season, or even that he should start… But the man NEEDS consistant minutes WITH Monroe, and I’ve yet to hear a single reason why he doesn’t play with the starters more often (in large part because Bynum seems to only know 1 way to pass it to Drummond… off missed circus shots)

      

  • Nov 26, 20125:11 pm
    by danny

    Reply

    timeeeeeeeeeeee is on our side, yes it is.

    • Nov 26, 20125:39 pm
      by bugsygod

      Reply

      “I got no patience, i hate waiting, …now lets ri iii ri ii ride” – Jay Z

  • Nov 26, 20125:43 pm
    by FrankURSick

    Reply

    Some positive energy. Fire Frank. Its human nature to feel sick when we see Maxiell starts and Drummond on the bench. If Frank was that smart we wouldnt be 3-11. Remember against toronto we won because of broken play. Against Celts they were tired. Frank may be a good commentator ala Doug Collins not a coach.

  • Nov 26, 20126:23 pm
    by Ozzie-Moto

    Reply

    And Yes it is about Designing the “New” Pistons.  We had such poorly balanced line ups for the last 5 years or so .. JD thinks that any player with any talent can be put on the floor together.  no bigs for a few years, 5 shooting guards at one point (and no points)  now 6 small forwards (JJ, Daye, Prince, KSing, Cory M,  Middleton ) Crazy Stuff. So to get to what works  (see last 3 years OK Thunder ) you got to get the parts and if your rebuilding start letting them learn them together.  Monroe will ALWAY need a to be teamed with an above the rim player (doesn’t matter if he at center or PF ) but he needs a defender, shot blocker, offensive rebounder with him at the other big. ALWAY will!  last year we really didn’t have anyone for him to play with. SO NOW that we have one WE SHOULD be using it FULL TILT.  Yes watch his minutes and burn out potential. BUT playing Monroe and Drummond together SHOULD be a priority IF the Pistons are going to be good that would be the Key.  Those 2 players have the potential to be the real deal and a bases for a new long standing playoff contender.    

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