A Substitute for War

Basketball philosophy

A quick thought on Andre Drummond impressing in preseason

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Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando voice: Remember when I told you I wouldn’t post a column today… I LIED

Well, it’ll just be a quick post. I wanted to touch on Andre Drummond’s impressive play in preseason for the Pistons. He’s been dominant so far, making many teams’ fans already worry about missing on him in the draft. Here’s a good clip package of his play in his last game:


The thing standing out for most is how hard he’s playing. The big thing that hurt Drummond’s draft stock was a lack of internal drive and motor on his UConn college team. He’s playing as hard as any rookie so far, alleviating some of those concerns.

But what’s impressing me however is his finishing around the basket. I always knew he could catch the ball well, but in college his touch and finishing seemed outright poor – with his all time bad FT shooting indicating he just might not have it from a skill perspective. In my 33pt method, I ranked Drummond as a 10 in physical impact, a 1 in skill and a 3 in feel for the game. Despite his amazing physical score, his total score of 14 still indicated a borderline starter and average player.

However, Drummond hypothetically having a strong touch and finishing ability if this holds up, would drastically change his outlook as a prospect. Touch and the ability to finish around the basket is by far the most important thing for a center’s Skill score. It makes him a useable option in any offense (even if at a low volume) which is how players like Tyson Chandler and Nene have been very valuable offensive options to their teams, despite unspectacular scoring games. If Drummond indeed can finish around the basket consistently like he has in the above clips, it’d be enough to re-evaluate his skill score as a 4, 5 or 6. Bumping him up to 11 in physical impact if his motor concerns end up unfounded, would also help. This new respectably skilled version of Drummond would be a player scoring 18 to 20 in my 33pt method, an excellent score – with how little impact centers there are in the league, perhaps enough to be a top 5 center and all-star.

With that said. It’s still very early for Andre Drummond. It’s plausible my initial instinct regarding his touch around the basket will prove correct. It’s possible his motor concerns will rear back up. But I see a reason to believe Andre Drummond could be as good as he’s showing.

I’ll have another mini-post tomorrow, on a particular European prospect in a future draft you should get used to the name of.

By Julien Rodger

Twitter: @ASFW_jrodger

Email: julienrodger@gmail.com (Send me a question, if I get enough I’ll do a mailbag, or just answer it in an article)

Written by jr.

October 15, 2012 at 11:42 am

Posted in NBA Draft, NBA Predictions

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