I'm convinced the Pistons are in full-blown tank mode, so the Pistons lost again on Friday night, but Andre Drummond's first career start also happened. I want to focus on how that went.
Lawrence Frank made it clear that there's going to be a build up of his minutes, so even though he was to start, we knew it wouldn't be starter minutes. Langlois tweeted that he would likely see 20 minutes max and Drummond ultimately played just under 19 minutes.
Drummond played the first five and a half minutes of the game, leading the Pistons to a 14-6 lead. He was 3 for 4 shooting with a block and a rebound. Great success.
Drummond's second spurt came in the final six and a half minutes of the second quarter with the Pistons up 32-31. He made a slam dunk shot on the team's first offensive possession and an alley-oop slam dunk shot on the second. Annnnnd, he had a third dunk on the fourth possession, too. Lots of fapness. He was 3 for 4 again with another two rebounds and a steal.
Total for the first half, in about 12 minutes, Drummond had 12 points on 6 for 8 shooting, three rebounds, a block and a steal. With him on the court, the Pistons outscored the Raptors, 27-21.
Drummond started the second half and played roughly the first six minutes. But it didn't go as well. The Raptors outscored the Pistons 18-5 and Drummond looked lost. He was 2 for 2 with a rebound, but he was out of position, outrebounded, and largely just a step behind. Not necessarily surprising given he missed the previous 22 games and the exception to the norm.
I don't think Drummond was expected to play again, but he was chosen by the Raptors to come on to shoot free throws for injured Brandon Knight in the fourth. Drummond split the pair and was immediately subbed out after the ensuing defensive possession.
All in all, not bad for the rookie's first start. He shot 80-percent, was the team's second-leading scorer with 17 points, grabbed four rebounds, and had two blocks and two steals. Per 36, that's still pretty awesome, even if the rebounding was down.
Here are the full video highlights:
Drummond is expected to make his second career start on Sunday night vs. the Bulls.