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Andre Drummond: Projection vs. reality

Five months ago Detroit Bad Boys attempted to use stats and history to craft a projection for Andre Drummond's rookie season. At the halfway mark, the explosive big man has met and exceeded just about every marker we laid out.

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Before the season began I attempted to project Andre Drummond's rookie contributions by looking at the statistical contribution of teenage big men throughout NBA history. At the time, I was worried that the rare superstar -- Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh and Kevin Garnett -- was skewing the stats and proper expectations for the big man out of UConn.

Halfway into his first season, Drummond has made clear that not only should I have not worried about superstars skewing the results, but that he has largely exceeded those superstar numbers.

Shortly after the Orlando Summer League, this is what I wrote. Don't worry, I won't be offended if you laugh:

But the bust factor remains unnervingly high. At 19 years and with only one year of lackluster performance in college ball and a respectable showing in Orlando Summer League under his belt, I think it is safe to say that Drummond has showed his age. Inconsistency has been a hallmark. Effort isn't always there. Mental lapses and flashes of raw talent have been on full display.

Seriously, go back and read the whole thing, especially the associated comments.

In the end I came to the conclusion that it would be reasonable to remove future All-Stars Garnett, Howard and Bosh from the data sample, and to place Drummond's best-case scenario for his rookie year at Derrick Favors-level of production but even tempered those expectations. Let's see how they stack up against reality:







WS 2.9 1.63 3.7
G 78 60.3 42
MP 19.7 16.14 20
FG 2.8 2.24 3.3
FGA 5.3 4.85 5.4
FT 1.3 1.19 0.9
FTA 2.2 1.84 2.2
ORB 2.2 1.52 2.9
DRB 3.1 2.74 4.5
TRB 5.3 4.26 7.4
AST 0.5 .5 0.4
STL 0.4 0.31 0.9
BLK 0.9 0.88 1.6
TOV 1 0.84 0.8
PF 3.2 2.05 2.1
PTS 6.8 5.79 7.5
FG% 0.51 0.48 0.61
FT% 59.5 0.65 0.42

The funniest part is that when I wrote that article in August I was afraid of unfairly lumping in Howard, Garnett and Bosh -- and now those are the kinds of players that seem like the most reasonable comps for Drummond, especially Howard as revken has already written in the past.

Using the player comparison tool on Basketball-Reference, check out how Drummond stacks up to the Big 3. Click on the image to see clearer rendering.


Not only does Drummond compare favorably to those perennial All Stars but he eclipses nearly all of their rate stats, including in rebounding, blocks, steals and true shooting percentage. The only thing limiting him now seems to be minutes, and while they are nowhere where we'd like them to be, they are trending up.

Soon, we'll talk about just where Drummond's first season ranks in NBA history.