Andre Drummond Rising Star Challenge MVP Bolsters Detroit Pistons Playoff Hopes


Feb 14, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; Team Hill center Andre Drummond (0) dances on the court during the 2014 Rising Stars Challenge at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Andre Drummond is proving to be one of the premier big men in the NBA. Last year Drummond missed the Rising Star Challenge because of a nagging back injury. Well he made up for lost time in this years game by scoring 30 and 20 rebounds leading Team Hill to a victory over Team Webber 142-136. Andre Drummond’s performance helped him capture the games MVP and the attention of a national TV audience.

From the beginning it was clear the Detroit Pistons center had something to prove. And after missing The Challenge last year, Drummond told ESPN that he has been thinking about dominating the ever since.

"Missing the game last year was tough for me. I hated watching it, every second of it,” Drummond said of last year’s Rising Stars Challenge in Houston. “It was tough that I couldn’t be out there. It was my mindset to come out and play with energy, like I had been all year. I had my mindset to win the MVP and win the game, and I went out there and did it.”"

Don’t expect Drummond to let the experience go to his head. Andre told ESPN that dominating The Challenge isn’t enough, he wants much more.

"Every single day, I’ve got to get better to prove to myself that I’m able to play,” he said. “I had the mindset this year of coming out here … and showing the league that I could play in Sunday’s game and that I’m able to hang with the big guys.”"

Andre Drummond has always been known for his work ethic.  Now that the full range of his talent has been on display in front of a National TV audience, Drummond will start to get some of the National attention he deserves. That could be good if the Pistons can go on a run under interim coach John Loyer.  But it could be bad if the atmosphere at the Palace continues to deteriorate.

Drummond’s Rising Stars Challenge performance should have been eye-opening for interim Coach John Loyer as well. The Pistons will need to find more ways to utilize Drummond if the Pistons are to turn this season around and make the playoffs. Even if it means running the offense through the post, despite the high-priced free agent on the wing.