Following an embarrassing 109-104 home loss to the Sacramento Kings, the Detroit Pistons sit at 21-25, which puts them at 10th place in the Eastern Conference. Heading into the 2016-2017 season, fans of the Pistons were very excited about what could become of a team that played the NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers very tough in the first round of 2016 playoffs, despite being swept.
One of the main reasons for excitement was Andre Drummond, who was coming off an All-Star season after scoring 16.2 points per game and leading the NBA in rebounding with 14.8 boards per game. At only 23-years-old, most were certain that Drummond would take yet another step forward during the 2016-2017 season. The Pistons center worked hard in the offseason to improve his free throw shooting and after signing a 5-year $125 million dollar deal in July, it was time to prove he truly was ready to be a star in the NBA.
Though Drummond has improved his free throw shooting from 35.5% to 43.1%, he has seemed to taken a step back in other areas. He is scoring less, grabbing fewer boards, and blocking fewer shots than he did in his All-Star campaign a year ago. His defensive intensity seems hit and miss and for a Pistons team that is built around stopping the other team from scoring.
In a recent article published by SportsOnEarth.com, writer Michael Pina ranked the Top 8 Most Disappointing NBA Players So Far and you guessed it, topping the list was our own Andre Drummond.
Thanks to Drummond’s coach and system, logical comparisons to Dwight Howard have plagued the 23-year-old’s evolution. Some of it’s unfair, but also rational. Drummond has the physical tools to dominate, but in his fifth season he’s yet to utilize those prodigious qualities anywhere but his pursuit of missed shots and lobs above the rim. Those things are extremely valuable, but so is protecting the rim, making free throws, being able to score efficiently and in multiple ways, forcing double teams, smothering pick-and-rolls, etc.
Drummond hasn’t grown — including in the areas that helped him qualify for last year’s All-Star game — and that’s a problem, because the Pistons will only go so far as he takes them. They need a Superman who understands how to use all his super powers, not one who’s constantly wondering if he’ll fall out of the sky when he touches a cloud.
To read more about what Pina had to say about Drummond, click the link below.