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Andre Drummond would have played an ordinary game tonight, but there’s no such thing for him

WASHINGTON – A couple days ago, Greg Monroe mentioned to Andre Drummond that Georgetown would play today at noon, seven hours before the Pistons would take the same court.

“This morning, he texted me, ‘Hey, man. Let me know when you’re ready to leave,’” said Monroe, who played two years at Georgetown before the Pistons drafted him.

Though Drummond attended rival Connecticut, Monroe was happy to spend an enjoyable afternoon with his teammate. Together, they watched part of Georgetown’s 65-48 win over American before leaving to prepare for the Pistons’ 96-87 win over the Wizards.

“It was weird, because I was just on the same floor a couple months ago playing against them,” Drummond said. “Just seeing some of the guys I played against was real cool.”

Before the Pistons routed the Wizards – never trailing, building a 22-point lead and hanging on as boredom from crushing the same team for consecutive nights set in – I spent most of my time in the media room discussing Drummond with a couple guys who cover Georgetown.

They kept telling me how bad he played when Connecticut played at Georgetown year. I figured, hey, that might make a neat story tonight if he plays well in his return to the Verizon Center. Drummond the professional bears little resemblance to Drummond the collegian, and this would be a cool way to reinforce that. So, I looked up Drummond’s stats from the game.

18 points, 9-of-12 shooting, seven rebounds, two assists, one block, one turnover and two fouls in 32 minutes

Hmmm.

I went back to my Georgetown buddies. Surely, they must have remembered the wrong game. Though were a bit surprised Drummond put up such impressive stats, they were undeterred. Henry Sims dominated Drummond, they said. So, I checked Sims’ numbers.

13 points, 4-of-10 shooting, four rebounds, three assists, two blocks, seven turnovers and four fouls in 31 minutes

Hmmm.

I pressed them a little more, but they insist Drummond looked bad that day. And they’re probably right. Drummond has an incredible ability to play well and looked ordinary in the process. It’s the curse that comes with blending imposing size and breathtaking athleticism.

Tonight was probably another case. Drummond had four points and 11 rebounds. He’s scored more 19 times, and he’s rebounded less 23 times, so this balanced out to a pretty ordinary game by Drummond’s standards. But there’s no such thing as an ordinary game for Drummond, who’s the Pistons’ most important building block. Monroe is better, and Brandon Knight is also key – but nobody’s career has a wider array of possible outcomes than Drummond.

Every game is a learning experience not just for him, but us. I found myself watching Drummond off the ball many times, looking for even the smallest clues about why he doesn’t play more. And I found a few, mostly the number of times he was running back-and-forth near midcourt, a step behind both the offense and defense. I kept waiting for Lawrence Frank to yank Drummond, but it never happened. Drummond played his usual minutes, and even if that’s not quite as many as I’d like, I must credit Frank for sticking with the rookie.

“This was a good learning experience for Andre,” said Frank, who listed the key lessons as playing in a back-to-back, getting opportunities to finish powerfully at the rim and learning to positioning himself when the Wizards pressed.

And that didn’t even mention Nene.

“One of the most physical guys I’ve played against so far,” Drummond said. “In terms of going after rebounds, he made it tough for me to go after them. He made sure he hit me first before my move. He kind of stumbled my movement to get there. It was a great learning experience.”

For Drummond, it’s all been a great learning experience. He talk about how important the practices are – he says much more important the game minutes that we fret about – and he’s shown that whatever he’s doing is working.

As he sat with Monroe at the Georgetown game, Drummond reflected on how far he’s come since last playing on that court.

“A long way,” Drummond said.

Once again, Drummond leaves Washington with questions about how well he actually played. As with the Georgetown-Connecticut game Feb. 1, credible cases could be built that he played either good or badly. But his potential is still undeniably high. Frank even cited “the big beasts in this league” during the last 40 years when answering a question about Drummond.

Drummond isn’t there yet, but it’s a joy to watch and dissect these “ordinary” games as he progresses in that direction.

19 Comments

  • Dec 23, 201212:14 am
    by Lake Side Live

    Reply

    What can we attribute Andre’s layup pre occupation to?  Anyone got any info on his big man coach Roy Rodgers that guys playing stats weren’t too impressive with 4.8 pts and 3.5 bounds and 4 yrs in the league. 

    Before the draft there are always reports about rookie aggression leading to foul trouble.  i assumed they were talking the defensive end going for blocks and steals.  Could Andre be worried that if dunks he’ll draw a charge?  I’m just asking because like it was said on this site ”Andre should dunk everything!”  What is holding him back how does he get there? 

    • Dec 23, 20127:48 am
      by 19880607

      Reply

      Roy Rogers NBA stats are irrelevant as to whether or not he is a good position coach. A position coach will be good or bad depending on his knowledge of the game, his ability to analyze a players game and then communicate the needed changes to the player. As far as I know and have heard Rogers has these skills in abundance. Being an outstanding communicator has very little value when you are trying to post up Shaq or keep Shawn Kemp off of the boards.
      In regard to your question about Drummond’s layup preoccupation I have had the same question. My guess is fatigue. He has said in the past that he likes to focus on defense and I’m presuming that he spends most of his energy on that end of the court.

      • Dec 23, 201211:30 am
        by Anon

        Reply

        Im a ball boy for the Pistons and get to watch Roy work with the big men everyday. The sentence “Dunk that ball boy” comes oout of his mouth at least 5 times per shootaround with Dre. Dre’s problem is that he always brings the ball down after he gets rebounds. He is only 19 years old and his bad habits will go away over time. Roy Rogers certainly isn’t the problem hes a very good coach.

        • Dec 23, 20121:29 pm
          by Lake Side Live

          Reply

          Thanks to you, and 19880607. Like I said i don’t anything about Roy Rogers and was just seeking clarification.  I will go forward from this knowing that this all part of Andre’s learning curve and not hold anything against his “bigs” coach.

          • Dec 23, 20122:18 pm
            by frankie d

            i’ve mentioned this before and i think it bears repeating.
            drummond tried to dunk everything until jermaine o’neal elbowed him in the genitals.
            (no nice way to put it.)
            a couple of games later another old vet did the same thing and since then drummond has been very shy about dunking in people’s faces.
            hopefully he’ll get over it and get back to trying to dunk everything, but his hesitance is understandable, considering.
            i think it is that simple, and nothing more than the hesitation born of having older players let him know that he’d have to pay a price if he embarassed them like that.  drummond should take a lesson from blake griffin and just physically assault anyone who comes near him when he is dunking.  that will keep them away from his …er…vital organs.

  • Dec 23, 201212:47 am
    by Riz

    Reply

    Stuckey is by far the teams nest point guard and should be starting. The guy has been dropping sick dimes the past couple games. He is playing at a high level for the point position lately and frank the tank needs to start him. What do y’all think??

    • Dec 23, 20122:48 am
      by jason

      Reply

      stuckey has asked to come of the bench. and i think it is awesome. he is a 2 gaurd. not a point gaurd.and he can lead the second unit well. which is what the pistons need. knight has been passing very well and obviously is our future point gaurd. stuckey was struggling starting and now finally has found his roll. so i say keep him in the sixth man spot. and soon get a spot shooter for the sg in the future. pistons are on the right track for success.

  • Dec 23, 20122:47 am
    by jason

    Reply

    stuckey has asked to come of the bench. and i think it is awesome. he is a 2 gaurd. not a point gaurd.and he can lead the second unit well. which is what the pistons need. knight has been passing very well and obviously is our future point gaurd. stuckey was struggling starting and now finally has found his roll. so i say keep him in the sixth man spot. and soon get a spot shooter for the sg in the future. pistons are on the right track for success.

  • Dec 23, 20126:26 am
    by DG

    Reply

    Just to throw another idea out there about why Drummond isn’t starting…The Pistons only have 1-3 (4 if you include Drummond) guys that would be starting on every other team around the league depending on how good that other team is.  But they might have one of the stronger benches in the league.  Last night their bench outscored Washington’s bench 52-24.  In fact they outscored their own starters 52-44.

    Usually our starters will still out-score our bench, but not by much usually.  Does having a dominant bench give the Pistons their best shot at winning the game?  It seems the Pistons lose most of their games based on the third quarter.  In the third quarter the other teams starters are usually going “it’s winning time.”

    Just a thought.  I’d rather be seeing Drummond starting myself.  But Stuckey and Drummond in particular have the ability to dominate most teams second units.

  • Dec 23, 20127:39 am
    by Corey

    Reply

    An addition to the Stuckey/ Drummond combination: CV seems to compliment them well. Or maybe it’s just Washington making them look good.

    Stuckey is a PG at this point, not a SG. He needs the ball in his hands, and will stay that way until and unless his 3pt shot improves. And I’m not optimistic about that point. So the pistons really need a good SG to round out the guard rotation.
     

    • Dec 23, 20129:16 am
      by Tyrone

      Reply

      I agree corey, Stuckey, Drummond, and CV are playing very good together on the 2nd unit.  there floor spacing is opening up opportunities at both ends of the court.  And like Jason said in his post the Pistons are a very young team and on the right track for success.  

       

      • Dec 23, 20129:35 am
        by I HATE FRANK

        Reply

        still think Maxiell would fit better with the 2nd unit….

        I dont even care about these wins against the Wizards… because we arent going to play then 50 more times…

        Wizard are a horrible measuring stick game…

        Drummond Defense could set the tone early for this team….I would love to see them start him, just for the defensive presence…

  • Dec 23, 20129:31 am
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    There was a play where Drummond got the offensive board, took his time…made some room for himself, and went up strong…putting it off the glass for 2 ….

    I LOVED IT! …I’ve watched Drummond all year and its the first time I saw that…

    BUT!!!

    Then I later, he gets the offensive rebound, but then rushes the shot back up…

    It is a learn process for him, but It does make me question what he is being taught on offense…

    Him growth on defense is Stunning!!!

    He is rarely making silly fouls…
    He is playing physical…
    He moves his feet well…
    When he isnt blocking shots- he will adjust them…

    Although Nene jumper was off, physically Nene struggled again Drummond 

  • Dec 23, 201210:03 am
    by Ryank

    Reply

    Who wrote this article?  This site usually only contains opinion and repost.  I don’t remember seeing articles with player quotes. 
     

  • Dec 23, 201212:55 pm
    by Crispus

    Reply

    Man Washington was horrible last night. I thought we were playing the Generals and not the Wizards. I liked how Frank was tinkering with different games since the game was such a joke. The frontcourt of Drummond, Charlie V and Austin Daye may seem laughable at first blush, but it holds such promise when all three guys are engaged. Stuckey still does silly stuff and forces shots or passes once in a while but overall I think he’s found his happy place. We definitely need more talent, a star player to get other involved and playing better. Til then the focus should be improving the youngsters.

    Watching Maxiell you realize just how hard he plays all the time. How can you bench a guy like that? Better to trade him to a contender who will appreciate the effort.

  • Dec 23, 20125:22 pm
    by bugsygod

    Reply

    Would anybody do a trade of B. Knight And our no.1 pick this year probably top ten (we are obviously keeping it) for John wall?  Patrick? Dan?

  • Dec 23, 20126:48 pm
    by revken

    Reply

    What impresses me the most about Drummond are the plays when he grabs a rebound and makes a quick pass to an open man for a score, or blocks a shot and then also grabs the ball.  Those are smart plays for a young guy.  You have to feel good about his future with us as he learns and develops.

  • Dec 23, 201210:48 pm
    by Corey

    Reply

    Frankly, if old vets are hitting him in the crotch on purpose, the next time one does it, he needs to invest in his future by earning his first flagrant foul decking the guy at the next opportunity. Problem solved.

    • Dec 24, 201210:03 am
      by apa8ren9

      Reply

      He probably wont do that this year since Im sure everyone is telling him he has to pay his dues.  Unless someone just blatantly jacks him I dont think he will get into an altercation.  Next year though, with a run through the league he will probably have a better grasp of what to expect and who to expect it from and will be ready

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