Andre Drummond is one of the NBA’s best young players. Averaging 17.3 points and 15.4 rebounds per game, he has the Pistons on pace for their first playoff appearance in seven seasons.
So, it’s all rosy in Detroit?
Drummond isn’t as good on defense as he should be, and privately, the Pistons wish he would play harder; he reaches instead of sliding his feet, leaps late for shots he has no chance of blocking and takes off-kilter angles defending the pick-and-roll.
Drummond doesn’t always give ideal effort, especially when he’s not getting touches offensively. Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy has also expressed dissatisfaction about Drummond’s free-throw shooting.
But Drummond is just 22 and on the right track. It’s not uncommon for young players not to give maximum effort.
He’s also so physically talented, possessing a rare – perhaps unprecedented – combination of size and athleticism, it’s easy to expect more from him. That’s not always fair.
The Pistons should – for now, at least – take Drummond’s positives and negatives. The good outweighs the bad. Significantly.
Drummond should continue developing the physical and mental endurance necessary to play harder, and the Pistons should keep pushing him to do so. They can’t reach their potential and advance deep in the postseason unless he does.
This is the natural evolution of the star on the rise, not a reason for panic