Andre Drummond is light years ahead of where I thought he'd be. Frankly, he's ahead of where even his most ardent supporters thought he'd be as well. The Pistons knew they were drafting a project - a kid who came out of high school with an NBA ready body, but a very raw set of skills that didn't translate into NCAA dominance as a freshman.
Thus, the skepticism was warranted. If he wasn't able to dominate NCAA competition, how good were his chances at succeeding against the much bigger, faster, and stronger bigs of the NBA?
With every opportunity he's been given, though, Drummond has proven the doubters wrong.
Patrick's piece - as a Pistons outsider looking in - demonstrates that this sentiment isn't hometown homerism. There's a solid, objective, stats-based case to be made for Andre Drummond as the Rookie of the Year thus far, one-quarter of the way through the season. Patrick says,
This one was tough, and if the 1/4-way awards were worth anything at all, and I were Andre Drummond (or his agent), right now I'd be pissed at coach Frank for costing me this award. On a strictly per-minute basis, Drummond is simply destroying all other rookies. Look at these numbers:
What the hell does Frank want? He's above average at everything you care about in a center. Is he looking at Drummond's performance so far and thinking, "yeah, but look at those dimes"!? We all laughed at Detroit for wasting a lottery pick on "potential", and now that it looks they have actually won the metaphorical lottery, they're just keeping that winning ticket buried away in a coat pocket in their winter closet. What. The. Hell.
Ultimately, Patrick goes on to give the award to someone who's played more minutes and thus had more impact - crediting Lawrence Frank with an "assist" for the award.
As many have observed here in the DBB comments since very early in the season, Drummond's play warrants including him in the ROY conversation, but without minutes, he won't get the serious consideration he deserves.
The stats back this up. Andre is doing everything we've needed in a Center since Ben Wallace departed for Chicago. He's been a beast on the glass, especially offensively, he's doubled the league average for his position in terms of steals, and he's blocking more than his fair share of shots to boot.
Sure, there's the occasional missed rotation or flubbed post move - but does that really outweigh his other impactful contributions? No, at least not in my opinion.
Play the kid, Lawrence. Please. He really has earned it.