UPDATE 3:01 pm: Just to make me look bad, Andre Drummond went through a full practice on Thursday, tweets Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. He described Drummond as “upbeat.”
There is officially still no timetable for his return. Everyone will want to wait a day and see how his back and body respond to the workout. But it sounds like his return is close.
10:37 am: When Andre Drummond went out with a back injury, the Pistons became far less interesting to watch. He averaged 7.4 points and 7.5 rebounds a game, but he was efficient — shooting 59.2 percent with a PER of 22.3.
Without him the Pistons are just not very good — they are 5-19 since he sat down, they have lost nine in a row, and since Drummond went down Detroit is bottom six in the league in both offensive and defensive efficiency (points per 100 possessions). In their last 20 games the Pistons are a -12.5 points per 100 possessions, second worst in the NBA in that time.
The one hope is that Drummond — who was looking like a dark horse candidate who could make a run at Damian Lillard’s Rookie of the Year trophy — would come back this season and make things a little more interesting, forming a good young front line next to Greg Monroe.
But Drummond is still out with no timetable and when speaking with the Detroit Free Press he doesn’t sound all that confident he will be back this season at all.
“Oh, of course,” he said, when asked about wanting to return this season. “I don’t want to sit out, but if it has to come to that, then that’s what it has to come to.
“We’re just going day by day really. (Trainer Arnie Kander) tells me every day I’m closer and closer, so I just go from what he tells me and continue to follow his instructions.”
Rightfully, the Pistons don’t want to pressure his return (although when I saw him do a pregame workout a couple weeks ago he seemed to move pretty well). And with the season lost more Ping-Pong balls in the lottery is not a bad thing. But when Drummond and Monroe are next to each other and healthy (with Brandon Knight in the back court), you can see some hope for the future. Which is why the last 19 games have been so hard to watch, that hope is in a suit on the sidelines.