Andre Drummond: The man who holds the Pistons season in his hands

0
NBA: Detroit Pistons at Indiana Pacers
Mar 8, 2017; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond (0) reacts to getting fouled and scoring a basket against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana defeats Detroit 115-98. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Andre Drummound, the main name that comes up in any discussion about the Pistons. The man who is nearly as tall in potential as he is in stature. He has been the focal point of the Pistons for the past four seasons. Over those four seasons Drummond has missed only three games, all while averaging a double double. His ability to stay on the court is impressive and his knack for rebounding is staggering.

Its hard to believe, but the seven-footer is still only 24 years old. With five years of NBA experience under his belt, and the third year of working with coach Stan Van Gundy, this is a make or break season for Drummond. This is the season we see if this promising young talent will fight to maximize his potential, or if he will coast by with his current skill set. This is the season for Drummond to lead the pistons to significant wins.

In the 2015 season, Drummond was looking like he was quickly about to become the best center in the league. Averaging 16.2 points and 14.8 rebounds, he was showing flashes of a player who could dethrone DeMarcus Cousins and lead the Pistons to a level of prominence we haven’t experienced in a decade.

Enter 2016.

Expectations were sky high going into this past season, both for the team and for Drummond. Unfortunately, both disappointed. Drummond regression is one of they key contributing factors in the Pistons missing the playoffs a season after giving the Cleveland Cavaliers a competitive round.

Was it the injury to point guard Reggie Jackson? Was it a lack of effort? Or was 2015 just an anomaly? No matter what the cause, Drummond regressed. Going down to 13.6 PPG and 13.8 RPG. Now its hard to justify being critical of a guy grabbing 13.8 boards a game, but it is more than fair to be upset over three points less a game. Drummond’s offense did not blossom into what many had hoped, I had expectations of 18 or even 20 PPG. Instead four different Pistons averaged more points than Drummond did last season.

It is up to Drummond to learn from last season and springboard himself and his team back into the playoffs. If Drummond can return to the form of 2015, or even take his offense a few steps forward, the Pistons would have a weapon few teams could effectively defend. Drummond is one of the few old school centers left in the league, if he learns to excel at his craft few players can beat him at his own game.

The Pistons season hangs on Drummond’s ability to do just that. Can the center stand tall and put 18 points on the board consistently? Can the former 9th overall pick lead his team to the playoffs? We will start to have an answer to these questions come October 18th when the Pistons host the Charlotte Hornets at the new Little Caesar’s Arena to start the season. Until then we can only hope Drummond is at least working on his ability to beat Justin Bartha.

 

All statistics sourced here