Pistons: Andre Drummond Poised to Take Next Step


The Future Begins now for Andre Drummond and the Detroit Pistons. Detroit Vs. Everybody.

The centerpiece of the current and future

Detroit Pistons

franchise is the 21 year-old big man Andre Drummond. Detroit as an organization knows it, and by now so do most of us in Piston Nation.

A 6’10” Megatron-ish athlete, Drummond has impressed in his 3-year tenure. Already an elite rebounder, For the 2014-15 season, Dre snagged a league 2nd best 13.5 Rebounds per game and was by far the leagues best offensive rebounders, posting 5.3 a night. Also proving his worth as an interior defender with a slowly advancing post game, it doesn’t take a genius to see we have a special talent in Motor City.

Drummond has had elite strength and athleticism for the Center position since he entered the league in 2011. He also has an uncanny coordination that comes best expressed in a Pick-N’-Roll with Reggie Jackson, consistently ending in a lob followed by a monstrous Andre slam.

It’s these physical tools Drummond uses to make his bread and butter, whether on the boards or on the defensive end providing solid rim protection (1.9 Blocks in ’14-’15) for Detroit. Said tools also make up for Drummond and his still-improving offensive game. Andre has flashed a potential go-to jump hook over parts of the course of his young career along with sharp post footwork. He’s yet to show he is or will be a top option, and while far from a finished product, Dre’s game holds a great deal of promise for the Piston organization on both ends of the court.

After a decade of quick fix attempts anchoring Detroit to mid-lotto status year after year, Detroit will finally now build a roster organically and around the talents of our young center who appears to be the franchise cornerstone.

Mar 18, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Detroit Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy reacts to a play against the Philadelphia 76ers during the second half at Wells Fargo Center. The 76ers won 94-83. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Head Coach Stan Van Gundy, is a man known for his work with the Orlando Magic teams who featured a prime Dwight Howard. What made those teams click was the surplus of shooting surrounding Howard.

The versatile 4 out 1 in offense that allowed Orlando and Stan’s buddy Dwight to become so successful was because of the space it provided for him to operate in the paint, resulting in Howard’s and the Magic’s most decorated seasons. Compared often to Howard entering the league, this is the format I believe Owner Tom Gores envisioned for the Pistons and their center when hiring Van Gundy as Head Coach and President of Basketball Operations in the summer prior to the ’14-’15 campaign.

When Detroit decided to trade for Reggie Jackson last season, Pistons management was also hopeful he’d show himself worthy to be the franchises lead guard long-term. With a statistical jump post 2015 trade deadline in large part because of Jackson’s addition, Detroit was sold on retaining Reggie for several years. 5 years and a cool $80 million to be exact.

Apr 4, 2015; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond (0) and guard Reggie Jackson (1) give each other a high five after the second quarter against the Miami Heat at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

This huge commitment has faced scrutiny by fans and media since news of his extension, questioning if Jackson will ever be worth $16 million a season. This Jackson contract also speaks volumes to a much larger and long-term commitment. Andre Drummond will be the Center of this team moving forward and Detroit will be looking to maximize his potential with a team that can compliment his attributes.

Milwaukee can also thank Andre for acquiring Greg Monroe, after Detroit essentially waved goodbye to Moose this summer. Monroe proved himself a strong low-post scorer and rebounder during his 5 Piston seasons, but was a poor fit next to Dre, affording the team to look into other power forward options.

Detroit’s current roster after a busy 2nd summer for Van Gundy is beginning to morph into a group that resembles his former Orlando squads.

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  • With the acquisitions of Marcus Morris, Steve Blake, Stanley Johnson, Darrun Hilliard and possibly Reggie Bullock and/or Danny Granger, this team is now jammed with versatile multi-position players that can space the floor out, mostly in hopes that Drummond will capitalize on that space.

    No longer will Andre be battling for rebounds with Greg Monroe and his defender as well as his own, most likely because he’ll be keeping an eye on Ilyasova on the three point arc. This is a new aspect to this team that may very well benefit Drummond in a large way. Andre will be forced now to grow however and be the primary option in the post. When he isn’t free agent signee Aron Baynes will occupy most of the back-up Center minutes.

    You’d be ahead of yourself to say Andre is ready to be 2009 Dwight Howard. It’s a safe assumption that Andre will see some struggles with a larger offensive dependency on him this year. But for a young guy hungry to be a leader on this team, more responsibility should be something Andre will readily accept.

    You can expect to see an even more impressive player and this year with a bigger role. With a training camp to gel with Jackson and his new teammates, Drummond will have a chance now to push himself even further into the upper echelons of NBA Centers. If he can even come close to such lofty goals, it could mean a successful future for Stan and the Pistons franchise. Is it way too soon to pronounce Andre Drummond a 2015-16 All-Star? Sort of. Would I bet against him? Heck no.

    Next: Reggie Jackson set to earn a lot more than Reggie Jackson

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