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Lawrence Frank on Andre Drummond: ‘We are going to make this a slow process’

Terry Foster of The Detroit News:

They are more interested in long-term success than making short term changes that might hurt the 19-year-old Drummond down the road.

Drummond said he is fine with that and will do whatever the coaches ask.

"We are going to make this a slow process," coach Lawrence Frank said. "To play a lot of minutes, particularly at this level, is hard. So as a 19-year-old to say, Hey, we are going to throw you out there and play you 35 minutes, we are taking the other approach."Our plan is to build it up. It is a whole lot easier to build it up rather than throw it all out there and tear it down and give the kid’s confidence away."

Why is Lawrence Frank so insistent on bringing Andre Drummond along slowly? Drummond appeared very raw coming out of Connecticut, but so far, he’s appeared more ready than expected in the NBA. Why not allow for a change in expectations?

Frank has consistently preached playing time will be determined by merit, but this is just latest example of what sounds like a preordained plan for Drummond. Maybe Drummond can handle a larger role right now. Maybe he can’t. But give him a fair chance to earn it.

42 Comments

  • Nov 13, 201210:39 am
    by danny

    Reply

    I understand you want to bring him around slowly but let him play.  let him make mistakes and teach him thats how kids learn.  you kill confidence when you dont build a relationship with the kid and tell him what you expect from him.  I think is the safe method that frank sticking with.  that is fine with me as long as he can build with drummond.

    • Nov 13, 201210:45 am
      by Day and Knight

      Reply

      Quite frankly I rather see Drummond. Remember Darco? We brought him along slowly and look how that turned out…

      • Nov 13, 20121:16 pm
        by darco

        Reply

        darco is a different story, and his skill set was different.  id agree with frank, especially since he has more hands on experience with how drummond is coming along mentally.  im sure he will get more minutes soon enough.  better no to keep racking up losses so we can get a top pick next year.  my nephwew draco is pretty good, maybe draft him.

        • Nov 13, 20121:23 pm
          by darco

          Reply

          besides, drummond is a great athlete, not a rocket scientist.  he is probably having to memorize a ton of information and translate it into muscle memory and reaction time.

        • Nov 13, 201211:46 pm
          by josh chen

          Reply

          Frank and Dumars both need to be replaced.  Watch this pistons fan…..
           
          Beal thrown into the fire. Kidd-Gilchrist thrown into the fire, A davis, Lillliard,  Barnes, Jonas  Val.,  and Crowder for goodness sake.  “All of those players need to be brought up slowly” A strict regime of “15 min” or else.  THE PISTONS HAVE BAD MANAGEMENT. I HAVE BEEN A PISTONS FAN FOR 20 YEARS. YOU PEOPLE NEED TO WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE. EVERY TEAM IN THE LEAGUE WORTH THEIR SALT ARE DEVELOPING THEIR FUTURE STARS RIGHT NOW.  The pistons are the WORST  team in the league next to the bobcats. Their is no reason not to play Drummond. Thy had an excuse not to play Darko and ruin his career, since they were a playoff team. Dumars can manage a championship team, but he can’t build a young team. He got lucky last time, when proven veterans just came together.  His track record with young talent is just atrocious.  

  • Nov 13, 201210:42 am
    by Day and Knight

    Reply

    Preach!!

  • Nov 13, 201211:07 am
    by danny

    Reply

    darko is different he didnt even play so lets not use that example.  dre’s min will increase with time calm down ppl.
     

  • Nov 13, 201211:18 am
    by David

    Reply

    “So as a 19-year-old to say, Hey, we are going to throw you out there and play you 35 minutes, we are taking the other approach.”

    I take it this means Frank regrets how he handled Knight last year. Or did he forget that he played Brandon Knight, a 19 year old at the time, averaged 32+ minutes a game last season?  

  • Nov 13, 201211:36 am
    by RalphHau

    Reply

    Bringing a rookie along slowly, gee that statement doesn’t seem to ring true on any particular year, why you ask…well what about all of those rookies of the year candidates like Kyrie Irving, Wilt Chamberlain, Wes Unseld, Dave Cowens, Geoff Petrie and one of our own Grant Hill did they come along “slowly”, NO…they played and played hard for their teams.  So coach, let the kid play and play him along side Monroe. He is destined for more than the pine.

    • Nov 13, 20121:20 pm
      by darco

      Reply

      i dont know about the old guys, but kyrie irving and grant hill were ready to suit up for the nba right out of college.  drummond may be a great athlete, but the two guards you mentioned are really smart basketball players.  whats the rush in playing him anyway, we are 0-8
       

      • Nov 13, 20122:03 pm
        by RalphHau

        Reply

        Well it’s true, since we are 0 – 8, then what is the harm of playing our young players.  The established players have not proven their worth, it is now up to the young core to show what they can do, and get the experiece they so badly need.  I would not dismiss Andre as not being a smart player, I believe he has a fairly high basketball IQ as compared to the veterans playing with the Pistons.  Drummond, Monroe, Singler, English and Middleton for starters; and Slava, Charlie V, A Daye, Stucky and Knight coming off the bench.

        • Nov 13, 20123:01 pm
          by jerrific

          Reply

          who plays point? the only person in that starting lineup capable of running an offense is monroe, and he’s not bringing the ball down the court every play. 

    • Nov 13, 20123:32 pm
      by MarkButter

      Reply

      “like Kyrie Irving, Wilt Chamberlain, Wes Unseld, Dave Cowens, Geoff Petrie and one of our own Grant Hill did they come along “slowly”

      Uh, all of those guys, with exception of Irving, were 3 & 4 year college players and in their early 20′s.

  • Nov 13, 201212:29 pm
    by am

    Reply

    what about brandon knight? lol i mean yeah he got his start due to other peoples injuries but then he was our full time starter after awhile..i mean where 0-8 how “slow” do you want to go..and its not like your current formula is working..soooo why not shake the line up…

  • Nov 13, 201212:54 pm
    by apa8ren9

    Reply

    Before I go off I get it Frank, you dont want the kid to drown in the deep end of the pool. I am even willing to let it go until the 20-25 game mark.  But let me tell you this is just ridiculous.   Obviously there is something going on behind the scenes that we are not privy to that is guiding this decision.  I dont know what it is, is Drummond not understanding the playbook? Are you placating the vets?  I dont know but, even with 13-15 minutes a game Frank is not putting him in a position to help the Pistons WIN.  I really dont get it so there has to be something.   When Drummond is asked questions or interviewed he doesnt really come of as 19 and seems to say the right things.  Maybe he is a schmoozer and has the athlete talk down pat?  I can even see the point of “the process”.   But to not play Monroe and Drummond at the same time really, really needs to be explained.   I am a die hard paying sucker -errr customer and that has to be explained.   It is unacceptable.  I demand it. (LOL)

  • Nov 13, 20121:08 pm
    by Alex Harrison

    Reply

    Frank has consistently preached playing time will be determined by merit, but this is just latest example of what sounds like a preordained plan for Drummond. Maybe Drummond can handle a larger role right now. Maybe he can’t. But give him a fair chance to earn it.

    Yup, this basically sums up how I view Frank and the situation. This predetermined plan is part of the reason were 0-8. 

  • Nov 13, 20121:15 pm
    by Desolation Row

    Reply

    They may also want to avoid Drummond from developing an ego problem. He’s only 19 and will be celebrated more than any basketball player in recent memory if and when he excels. Instilling a work ethic in him and shielding him from being thrust into the spotlight too quickly is important for a young kid. It’d be different if he was 22. But they don’t want him becoming another Andray Blatche or Javale McGee.

    It’s not just about skill and confidence, but maturity and perspective as well. I’ve come around on the approach to Drummond and feel better about it now that I think I understand what Frank is trying to do. If he puts together a barrage of killer performances then drops off after a while, he needs to understand how to put in the work and gather the requisite mental fortitude to pull himself out of it. He won’t learn that if the stardom comes too quickly too early. We’re not making the playoffs anyways, why not wait a month or two until throwing him out with the wolves?

    The guy is gonna be a stud. I’m already excited about next year.  

    • Nov 13, 20121:15 pm
      by Desolation Row

      Reply

      more than any Detroit basketball player in recent memory*

      • Nov 13, 20121:24 pm
        by apa8ren9

        Reply

        You know I was thinking about that angle as well.  I can understand that.   But I need something -  maybe a wink, something off the record, one of those notorious Piston “media leaks”.   I need to know something.  Im invested.   I want to understand, Im on their side.   I need to have basketball help me through this winter, LOL.  I want to enjoy it and its not enjoyable whatsoever right now. This is a terrible soap opera.  Drummond’s plan should not even remotely be the cause of 0-8 potentially 0-12, and it is.   That should never have happened.

      • Nov 13, 20125:48 pm
        by D_S_V

        Reply

        That is by far the best explanation I’ve heard for a reasoning behind these sub-15 minute games. 

    • Nov 13, 201211:49 pm
      by josh chen

      Reply

      glad you that you are on board with Frank and Dumars turning him into Darko.

  • Nov 13, 20121:47 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    WTF!  If this quote is from this weeks and not weeks ago, I’m getting on the “Fire-Frank” bandwagon. 

  • Nov 13, 20122:21 pm
    by Levi Thieman

    Reply

    the Pistons are deep at the power positions. that makes this situation different from last year’s Brandon Knight scenario when there were only 4 guards on the roster

  • Nov 13, 20123:01 pm
    by Joe Dumars

    Reply

    Starting Drummond and Monroe together isn’t really simple. Jonas, and Maxiell isn’t going to work as the 2nd unit front court, One of Jonas and Maxiell isn’t going to get benched so Frank can go to a 3 man rotation, and Jonas isn’t going to get any minutes at SF because of Maggette, Prince, and Singler.

    Drummond isn’t going to start unless theres some trades.

    • Nov 13, 20123:53 pm
      by Mark

      Reply

      You don’t lessen your starting lineup to strengthen your bench. 

      • Nov 13, 20123:57 pm
        by Joe Dumars

        Reply

        Exactly what do you mean? This isn’t NBA 2k13.

    • Nov 13, 20125:27 pm
      by Scott Free

      Reply

      The solution is simple, bring Jerebko as Prince’s primary backup, not Monroe’s (in this scenario).

      Front Court
      Prince/Jerebko – SF 
      Monroe/Maxiel – PF
      Drummond/Kravtsov – C 

      • Nov 13, 20125:53 pm
        by Joe Dumars

        Reply

        Kravstov looked bad in preseason, and in that line up what happens with Maggette and Singler?

        That isn’t realistic right now.

  • Nov 13, 20123:29 pm
    by mixmasta

    Reply

    No need to rush the kid. He seems to be fine coming off the bench.
    As of now, what’s important is learning what he needs to be doing on court to stay on court. Making tons of mistakes without him realizing it is worst than making mistakes and not be called out.
    I am sure that once Dre wants to showcase his talents and stay on the court for longer playing time, there’s no stopping him. That’s not to add Moose into the picture yet.

  • Nov 13, 20123:47 pm
    by Mark

    Reply

    I remember Gores stated multiple times when he took over that they were going to be fluid. This situation with Drummond is anything but. Its almost like they go into each game with a preset number minutes that Drummond can play that game, and no matter how great he may be playing, they HAVE to take him out at that mark.

    Protecting a player is one thing, but eventually that protecting leads to holding him back and stunting his growth, and spoiling him. Now is when he should be going through struggles. If they are tailor-making everything so its as easy as possible for him, whats going to happen later when things get tough? He’s not going to be prepared.

    Look at OKC and how they developed Durant. He was on teams just as bad as this Pistons team his first few years in the league, and it didn’t have any effect on his confidence now.

    If I’m a player and the coach keeps taking me out when the going gets tough, I’m starting to think the coach doesn’t have confidence in me, and that can be more detrimental to a player psyche than going to battle in a tough game. 

    • Nov 13, 201211:51 pm
      by josh chen

      Reply

      Your assessment is correct. That is exactly what the pistons need to do.

  • Nov 13, 20124:04 pm
    by Corey

    Reply

    Let’s take a step back for a moment, and ponder:

    We are almost universally griping that the Pistons should be playing Drummond more, because he’s developing so quickly as a player. He’s much better at this point than anyone expected him to be.

    Well, if he’s improving as a player much more rapidly than anyone expected, then perhaps what they are doing is… working?

    • Nov 13, 20126:00 pm
      by EMBRACE THE PROCESS

      Reply

      Corey….Other than one Summer League game…when hasnt Drummond looked Good?

       

      • Nov 13, 20126:55 pm
        by Corey

        Reply

        Most of last year at UConn?

        I’m mostly playing devil’s advocate here, although I think the point is worth thinking about. I don’t care at all whether Drummond starts, but I think it’s unconscionable that he’s not getting 20+ minutes per game.

        my fondest hope for Drummond is that Maxiel is traded before the deadline. Then Frank will have to play Drummond more minutes 

  • Nov 13, 20124:05 pm
    by Scott Free

    Reply

    All Franks is doing is ruining Drummonds chances for Rookie of the Year

  • Nov 13, 20125:13 pm
    by EMBRACE THE PROCESS

    Reply

    He is actually Hurting Drummond Defensive-Timing:

    Drummond not playing extensive time, is the reason he is a little late on his timing when it comes to shot blocking, and not playing hurts him in the area of defensive rebounding…his rebounds per minute are very good but it could be even better
     

  • Nov 13, 20125:28 pm
    by Scott Free

    Reply

    I wonder how hard it would have been for Drummond to crack the rotation if he was as raw as everyone projected?

  • Nov 13, 20125:58 pm
    by EMBRACE THE PROCESS

    Reply

    all of this just helped me to realize how screwed up this franchise is…..we finally draft a player with potential, who can play right away…but what do we do?

    We dont play him… in favor of an undersized PF…who management was hoping would opt out of this contract no more than 6 months ago…. 

  • Nov 13, 20127:27 pm
    by Corey

    Reply

    Just to throw some gasoline on the fire… Hollinger’s PER rating for Drummond is 23.17, good for 15th best in the entire league. On the other hand, one can question it’s value for small sample sizes. As in: Jimmer Fredette currently leads the league. 

    Still… 15th suggests he’s doing something right out there on the court.
     

  • Nov 13, 20128:57 pm
    by Ozzie-Moto

    Reply

    I going to go off big time on this … The Pistons have protected there vets for years … making sure they never feel challenged by the younger plays  .. I can only guess that this is pure Dumars.  Joe been GM for i think longer than any other in the NBA 12 some years and for the LAST 6 he has stunk .. (Yes a few draft pick have fallen to him thats not building talent.     AA Dalfino, even Amir have all played  on teams with better records but some how they where worthless on the Pistons and worse the piston got very little in return.  A Iverson was a total joke.  Why you can argue about whether Chauncey Billups should have been traded or not you might think that getting at least something back for him was a good idea.  Now to Drummond..  last time i checked there were a lot of minutes  between 13 and 32. No one is say run the kid into the ground but any night he not getting at least 20 there is something really wrong and what is really going on is again Protecting Joe’s stupid rosters.   Seems every year we are totally unbalanced. One year I thing we had 7 shooting guards.  Now to many SF and PFs The only thing that WOULD make any sense is if he trying to showcase a player or 2 in hopes of a trade.  Tay, Max, Rodney, etc and a lot of the rest  all have such limited UP SIDES they will never get this team past the first round. So JD just trying to not look SO bad and well Frank seems to have fallen in or was picked because he fit this failed approach.  I grew up in Michigan  and I love the team but i have to say i see so many fans that keep saying give Dumars a chance, like he hasn’t had year at this point.  Your not being patient your just enabling a nice guy that long long long  lost what it takes to put together a modern team.    (Hello T Gores  WAKE UP) 

    • Nov 13, 201211:34 pm
      by josh chen

      Reply

      Yeah,
      Greg Monroe and Rodney Stuckey are the only 2 players of consequence that Dumars and company have developed in 6 years. He has done a TERRIBLE JOB. This has Darko Millic written all over it. He ruined Darko’s career. Now look at what he is doing to Drummond. He veterans are all complimentary players.  He is protecting his failed VET  picks.

  • Nov 13, 20129:01 pm
    by lindsey

    Reply

    Here is my solution:
    Sit Stuckey. I don’t care if he has had a few games, the dude is poison right now. Let him go back to his 6th man role, where it wont be so painful when he has an off game (which is offten).
    Start Knight/Prince/Jonas/Monroe/Drummond. It shores up our rebounding, and gives us an INTERIOR PRESENCE. THAT IS OUR BIGGEST WEAKNESS RIGHT NOW! 
    Prince and Stuckey are ballhogs, and i can no longer take having both of them on the court at the same time. Yes, Tayshauns age is getting up there, but he can still defend most NBA shooting guards (second weakest position in the NBA besides centers), and on the nights he cant, Drummond will have his back to block shots, or at least alter them with his presence.
    Maxiell is having a great year, but what he is doing is perfect back-up Center material. He is still too much of a blackhole, and he has really fallen in love with those McDyess range jump shots, that look great when he makes them, but make you irate when he doesnt. Jonas can bring you the same production, if not more.  He’ had a great season so far, and should be rewarded. Drummond/Monroe/JJ attacking the glass will be a three-headed frontcourt monster, and a waaay scarier monster than Maxiell/Monroe/Prince.
    This will never happen, it makes too much sense. I think the plan is to start Drummond around all-star break, just to make him feel like he really earned it. woopdee doo guys, glad we waited so long.
    I do like Corey’s point thought too, that maybe the plan is actually working? Obviously not in the win column, it’s time for CHANGE.
     

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