Remember from Space Jam when the tiny aliens stole the talent from the NBA players?
They grew to towering heights and absolutely dominated the opposition with sheer size, strength and skill, the three “S’s” of basketball. Not really, but still. Anyway, that’s how second-year big man Andre Drummond has been playing this season.
Besides the fact, of course, that Drummond didn’t need to steal any talent. He’s got plenty.
I was a huge fan of Drummond’s coming into this season. A Dwight Howard clone, Drummond has the tools to be one of the elite fantasy centers in the game today. After teasing owners a bit with what he could possibly accomplish in his rookie season, Drummond is taking the next step towards superstardom. Many weren’t sold on Drummond in 2013, largely due to the fact that the Pistons brought in Josh Smith, creating a stacked and crowded frontcourt consisting of Drummond, Smith and Greg Monroe. However, it hasn’t negatively impacted Drummond’s fantasy value. After a monstrous (and I mean monstrous) 31-point, 19-rebound, 2-block, 6-steal effort against the 76ers on Sunday night, Drummond is now averaging 13.1 points, 12.2 rebounds and over a block per game on the year. He is so difficult to contain down low, and because of that, Drummond has seen massive fantasy opportunity this season.
Obviously, after coming off of a rookie campaign where he averaged 7.6 rebounds per game while only logging 20.7 minutes, Drummond was always going to be known for hauling in tons of rebounds. That hasn’t changed this year, as the talented UConn product is currently averaging 12.2 rebounds per game, which is the fourth-most in basketball. The talented big man has only posted three games with less than 10 rebounds. Only three. After that incredible Sunday outing, Drummond is also now ranked third overall in double doubles on the season with 12. Drummond is obviously a physical specimen, which makes it easier for him to grab boards, but he is also seeing great opportunity. Using NBA’s new stats, I took a look at Drummond’s rebounding opportunity. Drummond is seeing 16.3 rebound opportunities per game, which ranks ninth-most in the league. He has been effective on the glass, grabbing an impressive 72 percent of rebounding chances. That won’t change, seeing as Drummond is logging over 33 minutes per game.
As of right now, Drummond is averaging about six points per game more than he did last season. He has been a double double machine, and despite his massive rebounding numbers getting more attention, Drummond has been an efficient scorer this season, too. He’s posted just three games without scoring double-digit points, despite only seeing about 35.8 offensive touches per game, which is the lowest among starters on Detroit. Obviously, there isn’t a ton of scoring volume, as Drummond is only taking about nine shots per game, but he’s been efficient, and is leading the league in field-goal percentage (.636%). The combination of close looks and sheer size and strength are allowing him to get easy looks at the basket. Just imagine the type of offensive numbers Drummond could post if he received more touches and took more shots.
ESPN’s Player Rater doesn’t quite reflect it, as he is just outside the top-10 at center right now, but Drummond is easily a top-10 guy at his position the rest of the way. He will continue to breakout in 2013.
And then some…
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.