Andre Drummond is showing he’s the real deal.
Yes, it’s only preseason for the Detroit Pistons. Drummond still has to go through an entire NBA season and endure the ups and downs before he can prove how talented of a professional player he will be.
Last season, when he was just 19 and a rookie, Drummond was healthy enough to be in 60 games and average 7.9 points, 7.6 rebounds and 0.5 assists per game while shooting 60.8 percent from the floor. Those numbers should all go up.
But after three preseason games, Drummond has been incredible. If the Pistons are going to be a playoff team, he’ll have to stay healthy and keep playing like this. But Pistons fans have to be encouraged. His minutes per game, after three preseason contests, are only up to 23.7. Yet, he’s averaging 17.7 points and 8.7 rebounds per outing while shooting 66.7 percent from the floor.
What’s also encouraging about Drummond is his free-throw shooting. It was shaky last season, and the fear was that having Drummond on the court late in the game when the score is close would motivate other teams to foul him to get the ball back if they’re behind on the scoreboard. Right now, he’s at 75 percent.
He’s 20 years old and it appears Drummond has matured incredibly from a year ago. But there’s much more for him to prove. If he can continue to improve on his shot blocking, he’ll be dynamite for Detroit.
It was critical for Drummond to have a good preseason. He’s on his way to having a great one, but his 82 most important games are coming up soon.