Alright, let's "oooo" and "aaaaaaah" over the stats real quick:
Now, if you take the improper averages, you're looking at 11 PPG, 5.6 RPG (only 2 DRPG), 1.667 BPG, 1 SPG, .667 APG and he's shooting 72.7% FG% (20% FT%). Now, if you take the other approach and take the per 36, you're looking at 22 PP36, 11 RP36, 3.35 BP36, and some other probably decent numbers for a 19 year old rookie in the NBA.
Some are thinking and have stated that this far out performs Maxiell regardless of how you put it and that for the rest of the preseason Monroe and Drummond should be starting together. And I agree that it by far out performs Maxiell, but I'm not so sure I think Drummond should start just yet because of a few things I read on PistonPowered that I think are valid points.
1. Who have we really played?
Yes, both teams have decent up and coming front courts, but has Drummond really gone against good to great starter quality centers? He hasn't started a game yet, so I'd say no. The probably most imposing person Drummond has gone up against so far was Dalembert. But even that isn't what it used to be, let alone what a starting center would likely go up against every game. Also, these teams haven't really been known for team defense.
2. Drummond does have some defensive liabilities
There is one play where Drummond was beaten on the dribble by Gooden. Gooden. Gooden. Just so we're clear, Drew Gooden. There are many other bigs better face up shooters/bigs than Gooden (like the Chris Bosh's). Also, in three games, only 6 defensive rebounds. Offensive rebounds are great, and I see many DBBers love to debate over which is more important, offensive boards or defensive boards, but either way, both are needed. Also, Drummond hasn't really faced a decent back to the basket post player, so that will have to be tested as well.
3. Rookie fouls
I'm not referring to fouls by a rookie because they didn't know the play or was easily schooled. I'm referring to fouls from playing more "well known" players, like the Bynums, Boshs, Lopezs, etc. These players get fouls called against their opponents sometimes because of who they are. Them against a rookie would more than likely end up with Drummond getting some fouls called not in his favor. This could easily stalwart his production. In the game against the Bucks, he didn't start and primarily played in the second and fourth quarters, but imagine if those 25 minutes were from him being a starter and he were to have fouled out. He'd more than likely only be in the third quarter at that point and could have given more production had he not fouled out.
I'm extremely excited about how well Drummond has played thus far. I would love for this play to continue and do believe that by the end of this year he will be the Pistons starting center. Now, I know there are two sides (or more) to this argument. We could throw him to the wolves because 1) this season wasn't likely to go anywhere to begin with, 2) he'll likely play those players down the road, 3) he has outperformed Maxiell. On the other hand, we don't want to shatter his confidence by him being beaten up by the bigger names.
What I think should be done is to make Drummond a partial starter. I don't know if this has been done before or if some teams do this often, but I think Drummond should not start the game, but should start the second half. I think Drummond should come into the game with about 2-3 minutes to go in the first quarter. He should play through the second quarter until about 5 minutes left. He should then start the second half with the other starters and play the first 6-7 minutes. Then, depending on where we are and how well he's been doing how he's used in the fourth quarter would be up to coach. That would give him at least 17 minutes a game and allow for another 8+ minutes in the fourth quarter. But because he's not going up against the starters in the first half should save him of some fouls for the second half.
Either way, I think Frank has a great problem to have. He has a young, athletic big who is showing his potential right now and yet he still have major room to grow. Our season isn't likely to go anywhere, and CV and Daye have shown how bad they are (again) so getting Drummond in the lineup would be a good thing. How it pans out, I'm not sure, but I wouldn't be upset if Drummond didn't start the season right away.