Andre Drummond has never struggled like he's struggling now. Through eight games, he's shooting just 41.7 percent on the season, and he's failed to shoot better than 50 percent in a game for the last five -- the longest such streak of his career, according to Basketball-Reference.com.
As Sean Corp alluded on Thursday, the reason for the decline is simple: he's not attempting nearly as many shots at the basket as he has in the past, instead being featured further away and asked to create more than he ever has in the past. Here are some numbers from stats.NBA.com that bear this out, starting with last season:
|2013-14||FGM||FGA||% of FGA|
... and this season:
|2014-15||FGM||FGA||% of FGA|
Stan Van Gundy attributed some of the decline to opposing defenses taking some of those shots away. From David Mayo of MLive:
"Part of that is, as you get better, people take that away," Van Gundy said. "I remember my first year in Orlando, we got a ton of that stuff for Dwight (Howard), lobs, and the last four years I was there, we got about five a year, because people are going to start taking it away. So give defenses some credit. But I also think there are things we can do there."
Even so, Van Gundy remains committed to increasing Drummond's skillset. From Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News:
"I don't want to run less through him," Van Gundy said after Wednesday's shootaround, before Drummond again looked lost and out of place several hours later. "Going away from him would be a major mistake for a 21-year old guy."
In order for that to happen, though, Drummond must get the ball — which falls on his teammates as well as his ability to establish position. From Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press:
Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said that Drummond has relinquished ideal post position on post-ups. He also said teammates have missed him when he's established proper position.
"I don't control that," Drummond said. "I don't control the touches I get in the game. I just control what I can do at both ends of the floor. I just do my best."
While Drummond's body language on the court suggests otherwise, he denies being frustrated. From Mayo:
"It's all a part of the game," Drummond said Wednesday night. "I can't hang my head. We're starting to pick it up a little and starting to look good as a team, so I can't dwell on my individual performance, I've got to worry about the team."
Now your thoughts.