But Frank has to face it, expectations of Drummond remain high and will get even higher after his performance Wednesday night.
Drummond played like a future Hall of Famer in the Pistons’ 111-104 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. He got nearly 34 minutes of playing time, was 10-of-11 from the floor and scored 29 points.
“The great thing about Andre is he struggled in the first half and was able to bounce back,” Frank told reporters after the game. “I thought his energy was great to start that third quarter. And to me, it’s all about rim protection. That’s his huge advantage. Obviously, guys did a great job of finding him around the basket. He’s an explosive finisher.”
His vulnerability at the free-throw line was obvious since he was 9-of-17. The word to defenses late in the game will be to foul Drummond once he gets his hands on the ball.
Drummond also had 11 rebounds and no turnovers.
“We’re very, very proud of him on the way (he finished) at the free-throw line,” Frank said to reporters. “Andre is going to have a long, long career. There’s been a history of big men who from the free-throw line came into the league with low percentages.”
Drummond worked well with Greg Monroe, who scored 23 points. It’s a matter for the Pistons coaches to get the Drummond-Monroe combination playing consistently. If that happens, the Pistons will have an incredible future.