Just before 2:30 pm today, True Hoop TV of ESPN.com posted a conversation between Henry Abbott and David Thorpe. The topic was which current NBA players provide "massive potential" for their respective franchises. The video chat started out with praise for Paul George of the Indiana Pacers, but their second subject kept the conversation in the Central Division. Like so many pro-hoop writers, Abbott and Thorpe recognized the high ceiling of Andre Drummond. The entire video can be found here, but Pistons 101 collected some of the best quotes Thorpe had on Drummond.
Thorpe began by talking about the Pistons handling of Drummond:
"If Detroit handles him right, which they're doing fine right now. I don't know why he doesn't play a little bit more, but there's a method to kind of 'trickling' him in. He's dominating in games coming off the bench. He's someone who has a chance to become a franchise player."
Thorpe is harping the feelings of many Pistons fans here. Drummond has been averaging 22.4 minutes over the last 10 games (season average: 20.4 minutes) and the increased time as helped him raise his scoring and rebounding average by at least one point in each category. Over the last 10 games, he's averaging 9.7 points (season average: 7.6 points) and 8.6 rebounds (season average: 7.6 rebounds). His averages increase with his minutes, Drummond should be playing more.
Still, as Thorpe points out, coming off the bench appears to be the best spot for Drummond right now. Much of the reason for Drummond's success this season is that his athleticism has been a major problem for big men coming off the bench of Pistons opponents. If Drummond were to start he'd be going against more capable, experienced starters. That could hurt Drummond's production at this point in his rookie career.
Thorpe then went on to compare Drummond's development to another Pistons lottery pick big man:
"Darko Milicic was an enormous talent. Now way around that. But he sat early and lost so much momentum that he never really could get back. In [regards to] Drummond, it would be similar. If you didn't treat him right initially, who knows what happens. As it is now, he's right on target to become a franchise player."
Anyone complaining that not starting Drummond is hurting his development need only listen to Thorpe's comparison with Darko. Think about why we're complaining about Drummond not being in the starting lineup. The organization is lucky that Drummond has developed as quickly as he has. There will be a time when Drummond joins the starting lineup this season, but right now the "trickling him in" is working fine for Drummond's development. Hey, it could be worse…it could be Darko'esque.
Tags: Andre Drummond, Basketball, Detroit, Detroit Pistons, NBA
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