The NBA is full of talent, personality and suspense. During the offseason, It’s easy to forget how wonderful the league can be. So, I’ve assembled 67 Reasons I’m Excited For Next Season (67RIEFNS). They’ll be presented in no particular order.
For the first time since 2001, no center on the All-NBA first, second or third team was younger than 28. I’m not suggesting Joakim Noah (29), Dwight Howard (28) and Al Jefferson (29) are over the hill, but there is a clock on their reign.
Soon enough, another center will burst into national prominence.
How about about Andre Drummond?
Drummond is one of the NBA’s most-talented young players. He has ideal height and width, and he’s incredibly athletic for his size. He’s already the NBA’s best offensive rebounder and a great finisher at the rim.
But he can become so much more. His post moves are robotic, defensive rotations too often slow.
That’s where Stan Van Gundy comes in.
Detroit’s new coach helped mold Howard into the NBA’s premier pivot, and Drummond has the same type of upside.
In his role as Pistons president, Van Gundy added a few quality shooters this offseason. Jodie Meeks, Caron Butler, D.J. Augustin and Cartier Martin aren’t even sure-fire starters, but all four stretch the court. Whenever they’re on the court, offense will come easier for Drummond that it did last year, when the Pistons’ offense involved several players crashing the paint.
Defensively, Drummond needs more help from Van Gundy the coach. All the tools are there, but Drummond must more quickly recognize when and where to rotate. A little seasoning with experience should help, and I expect Van Gundy to only accelerate the process.
Drummond is just 21, and he’s already near an All-Star level. His future is bright. Van Gundy could make it even brighter.