The Detroit Pistons finished a disappointing 37-45 last season. As the team looks to improve and regain a spot in the playoffs, Detroit Bad Boys is examining three things each player can do to improve their game and improve the chance the team wins. Whether you’re new to the game or a season Pistons watcher, these are important factors that anyone can appreciate and will help you understand and evaluate Detroit’s team as we get ready for the 2017-18 season.
No more post ups
The key to Andre Drummond becoming a star is to focus on doing less. We have covered this in depth on a few different occasions, but Drummond is not good in the post and never will be. He averaged .73 points per possession in the post on 4.1 attempts per game last season. He was below the 20th percentile in the league.
Stan Van Gundy talked about Andre Drummond “playing like DeAndre Jordan.” If he wants to change the perception of the fans in Detroit who have started to turn on him, this is something that he has to do. It can all start with significantly cutting back on the number of attempts he is getting out of post ups.
You are not going to be able to completely eliminate possessions in the post out of his game, but getting better position in the post will help. It is on his teammates to not give him the ball unless he has good position and it is on Andre Drummond to stop with the hook shots from outside of five feet from the basket.
More passing out of the post
It is one thing that Drummond has not been good at posting up, but the fact that he does not pass out of the post makes him a complete black hole on offense. Last season, if he received the ball in the post, the ball was not leaving the post without a shot by Drummond.
Andre Drummond averaged 1.1 assists per game. For somebody who was top 10 in the league for post possessions, but near the bottom for points per possession out of the post, that is not good enough.
Some of Drummond’s reluctance to pass out of the post could be attributed to the poor shooters the Pistons had on the team last season. With the addition of more reliable shooters like Avery Bradley, Langston Galloway, and potentially Luke Kennard, there shouldn’t be an excuse.
Drummond showed flashes of having the ability to pass out of the post, but those flashes were few and far between. With the attention Andre Drummond gets when he has the ball around the rim, there are plenty of opportunities for him to kick it out. It is time for him to start.
Protect the rim
Drummond was supposed to develop into an elite defender when he was drafted. He has all of the tools to do it, but has way too many lapses in focus on the defensive end. There were too many times last season where a smaller guard would get an easy finish at the rim with little resistance from Andre Drummond.
He is nearly 7 feet tall with arguably the best athletic gifts for somebody of that size. It is time to start using them. He only averaged 1.1 blocks per game last season. In comparison, Rudy Gobert averaged 2.6 block per game. Anthony Davis averaged 2.2 blocks per game. Hell, even Myles Turner averaged 2.1 blocks per game. None of these players are any more gifted athletically than Andre Drummond, but they know how to position themselves for getting blocks and protecting the rim.
Obviously, blocks per game does not always equal rim protection, but all the players listed above make other teams think twice before driving inside. That is not the case with Andre Drummond and it is something that needs to change for this coming season.