After narrowly falling to the defending champs earlier in the week, the Pistons knocked off a contender on the road by downing the Brooklyn Nets, 99-88. Yes, it's a preseason game, but there's still reason to get excited -- especially given the amount of offensive polish Andre Drummond is exhibiting in his second season.
In just 18 minutes and change, Drummond scored a team-high 15 points off an extremely efficient 6-of-8 shooting, adding six rebounds, three steals and a blocked shot. (NBA.com box score)
"Andre Drummond, in the third quarter, was running on the floor and getting those lobs," said Maurice Cheeks after the game. "He had one or two post moves but it wasn’t something we ran for him. He always ends up with the ball, he rebounds the ball, runs the floor. Just the way he plays is amazing to watch.
"I think Rasheed Wallace has been doing a good job working with him. I think what he has incorporated into his game is that little jump push shot that he has gotten inside the lane. I think that’s been a plus for him and will pay dividends later on. If he could make foul shots he could be even harder to play. He’s going to be tough to play."
At least for one night, Drummond did hit those shots, converting all three of his attempts from the charity stripe. Drummond shot an abysmal 37.1 percent from the stripe as a rookie. If he's able to improve that percentage to be something better than a coin flip, he'll force the opposition to play him fairly in close games.
"The guys on the court make me feel so comfortable," said Drummond. "Playing alongside Greg [Monroe], Josh [Smith], Will [Bynum] and Kyle [Singler]. Those are guys we already have a good bond on the court already. We all know where we need to be on the court and we know each other’s spots and when we like to get the ball. When I do have those spurts of minutes where I just dominate the game, it’s just because I’m in the zone at that point and time."
Drummond wasn't the only bright spot:
• Making his second consecutive start, Will Bynum recorded 11 assists with just one turnover in 26 minutes, adding six points on 3-5 shooting.
• Rookie Tony Mitchell had a double-double with 10 points (5-6 shooting), 10 boards and a block in 26 minutes.
• Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had another goose egg from beyond the arc (0-5) but shot 4-6 from two-point land and 4-6 from the stripe. He finished with 12 points and seven boards in 23 minutes before fouling out. He also finished as a team-high +16 plus/minus.
• Charlie Villanueva hit his first 3-pointers of the preseason, finishing 2-4 from beyond arc in 16 minutes.
The Pistons travel to face Chicago on Wednesday. Here's to hoping Brandon Jennings (wisdom tooth) and Gigi Datome (hamstring) are feeling well enough to play.