I think, based on crowd-sourced opinions in the comments here, on other Pistons sites and on Twitter, it’s pretty safe to assume that Pistons fans are pretty much in lock-step about their desire to see more of Andre Drummond. Something that gets lost in that often loud demand, however, is the fact that Jason Maxiell, the player whose minutes Drummond would cut into, is actually having a really good season by his standards.
I think it’s important to note that Maxiell has played well. But, in my column for the Detroit Free Press today, I also pointed out that even with Maxiell having arguably his best season if he keeps this pace up, Drummond is still significantly out-producing him on a per-minute basis:
Drummond’s stats won’t compare with Maxiell’s, simply because there is a significant discrepancy in minutes played. But their averages per 36 minutes paint a different picture:
- Points per 36 minutes: Drummond 15.4, Maxiell 12.9
- Rebounds per 36 minutes: Drummond 11.4, Maxiell 9.0
- Blocks per 36 minutes: Drummond 2.4, Maxiell 2.0
- Steals per 36 minutes: Drummond 1.9, Maxiell 0.2
Maxiell is shooting 54%. Drummond is shooting 68%. Looking at some advanced stats, via Basketball Reference, Maxiell’s Player Efficiency Rating (PER) is 15.7, Drummond’s is 23.8. Maxiell’s total rebound percentage (estimate of percentage of total available rebounds grabbed while the player was on the floor) is 14.2, Drummond’s is 18.0. Drummond has a better offensive rating (points scored per 100 possessions) and better defensive rating (points given up per 100 possessions) than Maxiell.
The Pistons, understandably given the concerns about him coming out of college, have taken a cautious approach with Drummond. But he’s clearly, by every statistical measure, shown that he’s more advanced on the court than virtually anyone thought he would be. The longer the Pistons go without increasing Drummond’s workload in the face of his immense per-minute production, the more it is going to appear that they are holding him back rather than helping his development.
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