2018-2019 POP Season Preview: How will Andre Drummond’s Evolution Continue?
Coming off of a season where he set records in rebounding averages and took another step to become the greatest rebounder of all time, Andre Drummond enjoyed a career year last season with the Pistons. Along with that, he found a way to greatly improve his free throw shooting, which fans for years have bellyached about as an area that stymied his game. Last season he showed vast improvement as a free throw shooter and passer, among other areas of play. This offseason Drummond had a different area of improvement on his mind, shooting.
78 games played, 33.7 minutes per game(Career-high)
15 points per game, 16 rebounds per game
52.9 field goal percentage, 60.5 free throw percentage
It’s not new information to Pistons fans that Drummond has been working on his jumper all offseason. In the preseason, he, unfortunately, went 0-11 on his attempts from the 3-point line, but they weren’t ill-advised or forced shorts by any means. Drummond and coach Casey have both spoken about him having the green light to take the shot as long as the situation is correct. Casey doesn’t want Drummond to take contested pull up threes or stand out by the perimeter looking for what will be a less efficient shot than if he remained in the paint. If the situation arises though, rest assured he will pull the shot.
Although the 3-point shot has been a large portion of the discussion around Drummond this offseason it doesn’t mean that he’s going to become a spot-up shooter in the least. With the return of the hopefully healthy Reggie Jackson to the lineup, we can look forward to those two getting back at the pick-and-roll game Pistons’ fans love to see so much. With improved cardio and offensive consistency, look for Drummond to be more aggressive and successful finishing around the rim in these opportunities that the pick-and-roll creates.
The final objective to look forward to is the two-man game between Drummond and his new big-man partner Blake Griffin. With Griffin coming in as late as he did last season, he and Drummond never had enough time to gel together and find the balance in each other’s game. Casey has spoken multiple times about how much he looks forward to making the most out of the big-man duo. With Griffin bound to have a roll filled with ball-handling and play initiating, it will be interesting to see how Drummond plays off of him and finds offense of his own, whether that be stretching out to the three or posting up down low looking for passes off of Griffin drives.
No matter what way you look at it, this could be a great season for Drummond if all things click. Whether it be his offensive improvements during the offseason that excite you most or just the return/improvement of the Jackson and Drummond pick-and-roll play. With a summer of work behind them, it will be up to Drummond and Griffin to find the flow and bring out the best in each other. The duo easily has the potential to be one of if not the best frontcourts in the league.
Featured Image: Carlos Osorio/Associated Press