“I’ve never seen it ever. He might be the best rebounder I’ve ever seen. Period.” That was Pistons small forward Marcus Morris after Andre Drummond snagged 27 rebounds and scored 29 points in Detroit’s 120-103 win over the Trail Blazers on Sunday night.
While Reggie Jackson’s 25 fourth-quarter points (he had a game-high 40 after a scorching 10-of-11 in the fourth) were a big part of the win, Andre Drummond continued his one-man assault on NBA record books with a monster game against the Trail Blazers. His 29 points and 27 rebounds in Sunday night’s win saw him join some select company.
Through six games, his 122 rebounds are the most since 1985. For comparison’s sake, Dennis Rodman, considered by many the greatest rebounder in the contemporary NBA history, only corralled 120 rebounds through six games to start the 1994 season.
Only two other players in NBA history — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlain — have recorded three, 20-20 games in their first six starts of the season. If the season ended today, Drummond’s average of 20.3 rebounds per game would be the highest since Wilt Chamberlain in 1969.
There are only two current NBA players, Al Jefferson and Dwight Howard, with multiple games with over 25 points and 25 rebounds. Both players have two of them, but Drummond, who is only 22, has three games above 25 and 25.
Basically, in an era of point guards, stretch fours and centers who can stroke it from deep, Andre Drummond is rewriting rebounding record books.
And while we’ve already detailed his very real struggles on the block, Drummond was 14-of-19 on Sunday and showed off a much-improved right jump hook that’ll be sufficient for those instances he’s asked to score in the post.
That’s not all. Drummond also had three blocks — including two snuffs of Mason Plumlee — and two steals.
Here’s more on Dre’s improving defense, via Vincent Ellis of the Detroit Free Press.
Entering Sunday, he was the anchor of a defense that was third in defensive rating (92.9) and was allowing opponents to shoot only 43.7 percent from the field.
He was averaging 1.6 blocked shots and nearly two steals per game, but the improvement is showing in subtle ways.
He is asked to harass guards in pick-and-rolls and still protect the rim. He was able to do that twice Friday night against the Suns, when he knocked away two alley-oop attempts in the 100-92 victory that started the six-game, 10-day trip.
“I think he’s been tremendous,” coach Stan Van Gundy told reporters Saturday. “Much, much better, much more active, using his quickness.
“He stole two lobs (Friday night) out of the air, so he’s up challenging the guard and getting back on the lob — not an easy job, and he’s doing it really well.”
About the only glaring weakness left in Drummond’s games is at the stripe. He was only 1-of-6 on Sunday, and while he’s improved from last season’s 38.9 percent from the free throw line, we continue to wish he’d adopt Ricky Barry’s style. Through six games, the Pistons are 5-1, but Drummond is still just 22-of-52 on free throws.
Still, it’s worth asking right now, today: Is Andre Drummond the best center in basketball through the season’s first two weeks?
(Via Detroit Free Press)