Sunday night’s game between the Philadelphia 76ers and Detroit Pistons may have been the ultimate preview of what is to come from young center Andre Drummond. Drummond put in work and tallied career-highs in points, rebounds and steals. In fact, he became the first player to post 31 points, 19 rebounds and six steals in the same game since Hakeem Olajuwon did it in 1990.
The performance is a notable one from Drummond because he is only in his second season. Pistons fans should expect several big nights like this from him in the future should he remain healthy. Through his short time in the NBA, it has become abundantly clear that Drummond is among the league’s elite rebounders. He is currently fourth in the league with 11.8 rebounds per game.
Despite a limited offensive repertoire, Drummond continues to score incredibly efficiently, as evidenced by his latest outing where he went 12-of-15 from the field. While he lacks solid post moves and a reliable shot, he has a knack for being in the right position to grab an alley-oop or offensive rebound for an easy score at the basket. He is flawed on defense as well, but it hasn’t stopped him from routinely being in the right spot to knock the ball away with a block or steal.
Drummond will need to develop his post game and vastly improve his passing skills to achieve true greatness in the NBA, but he already has all the other tools necessary to reach incredibly high plateaus. Unfortunately, the most glaring hole in Drummond’s game was on full display against Philadelphia.
The 76ers went to the Hack-a-Shaq game plan against Drummond in the third quarter (!) on Sunday night. While this may disgust basketball traditionalists, it is a reasonable strategy. Drummond bricked 11 of his 18 tries from the line. Detroit thought they had it bad when Ben Wallace was still in town, but Drummond might just have the worst shot from the free throw line in the history of the NBA.
This performance provided a lot of insight to what fans can expect from Drummond as he develops into a seasoned NBA veteran. He can score in bunches when given the opportunities near the rim, and there doesn’t seem to be anybody in the league who can stop him from dominating the glass. The kid may still have some huge flaws in his game, but he just posted a record-setting night despite them and remains an impact player on both sides of the ball.
Imagine what he will be capable of once he has had time to polish his game.