Now going into his sixth season and second after signing a max contract in after he led the Pistons to the playoffs in 2016, it’s time to see if Andre Drummond is the real deal. The 6’11 center had a disappointing campaign last year which was directly correlated with the team’s lack of success in 2016-’17. His stats took a slight hit and without starting point guard Reggie Jackson running the show and a lack of effort at times along with a deviated septum which severely limited his ability to breathe, Drummond wasn’t looking like the centerpiece president Stan Van Gundy shelled out to him prior to last season.
As previously stated, Drummond was brought down by a devoted septum which he had surgery on in the offseason. This, along with him losing around thirty pounds, should help Drummond immensely. In the preseason, Drummond has looked very competent at the stripe, hitting 80 percent of his free throws; however, we have to look at this improvement with caution, as Van Gundy has stated multiple times that Drummond is great from the line in practice, but struggles mentally during games.
As he has been since his second season in the NBA, Drummond will be the X-factor of this Pistons team. With the added floor spacing of Bradley, Kennard, and Tolliver, Drummond should have more room to operate and will again find success with his running mate Reggie Jackson back in the fold. If all goes as planned, we should be seeing what Drummond’s true potential is, barring an injury or another unforeseen bump in the road.
With the best roster he’s ever played on, I’m expecting an improvement from Drummond, somewhere along the lines of his all-star 2016 campaign, but hopefully, there’s even more of a jump from him. I’m predicting around 15 points and rebounds apiece, and, with the flashes he’s shown in the passing game, average somewhere between 2 and 3 assists per game. Also, I’m taking Drummond’s preseason free throw success with a grain of salt, but still giving him credit by predicting somewhere around the 50 percent mark from the free throw line. This is a make or break season for not only Drummond as a player, but also for his future as the face of this Detroit team.
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