Andre Drummond has had some pretty fun games during his time with the Detroit Pistons. His performance on Monday night was tremendous. Perhaps the best of his career.
But “best” always has an arbitrary element. We can look at his game score and say one was the highest, but that loses context. And context is fun.
So instead, let’s do it in the format of a greatest hits album. Starting with:
Gotta start with the freshest hit. Drummond was awesome, posting an efficient 26 points, 22 rebounds, six assists, and four steals. He had a couple of signature moments, including this:
November 8, 2015 at Blazers
The overshadowed gem. This was the Reggie Jackson game. After all, Jackson scored 26 fourth quarter points, it was simply incredible.
But would it have mattered without Drummond? In the second half, Drummond had 19 points on 9-11 shooting, 15 rebounds, and a pair of steals and blocks. That’s a hell of a game, not to mention a half. 16 (!) of those points came in the third quarter, 10 of those rebounds came in the fourth.
It was an incredible win for the Pistons, and one that cemented them as forces in the East, reminiscent of Monday night’s game.
Game highlights here:
Team Hill versus Team Webber, Rising Stars Challenge, February 14, 2014
30 points and 25 rebounds during All Star Weekend. It may not have been among his best games with the sloppy way these are played, but it was among his flashiest.
He took home the MVP trophy, and got an opportunity for the spotlight while toiling on a roster where he was only able to get whatever scraps of touches he earned himself on the offensive glass.
Highlights from Drummond's Rising Stars Challenge: https://t.co/7vgNhQP9DI— Steve Hinson (@Shinons8) November 29, 2017
December 1, 2013 vs. 76ers
Here’s the spot for the ultimate classic. This one was Drummond’s breakout performance, his first 30 point game, and still holds the mark for his highest game score. But all also good examples of what he brings to the table.
It was one of the first games we saw Hack a Dre, as the 76ers were desperate to find anything to slow down the Pistons. Drummond finished with 31 points, 19 rebounds, six steals, and two blocks. He also went 7-18 from the free-throw line, which as the legendary Matt Watson put it, “You know what's crazy? Shooting 38.6 percent actually improved his mark on the year -- he came into the night shooting 28.6 percent.”
Here’s the game highlights:
Mo Cheeks handled it in the most apt and infuriating way possible, saying “Joe (Dumars) told me he was on an upswing like that, but I didn’t know. I watched him a few times but I didn’t know he was going to be as good as he is now.”
Cool that you watched him a few times before taking the head coaching gig full time. That’s great. NYCDAT.
December 3, 2014 at Celtics
This would be one of the sad songs on the list, one where Drummond and Greg Monroe kick ass but it’s not enough so the villain wins. Whether the villain is the Celtics or Josh Smith is up to the audience, because this is art.
The Moose and Penguin combined for 56 points, 26 rebounds, four steals, and six blocks. Yes, I know, after Monday’s outing I fully expect to see Drummond put up a game like that by himself, but back in those days it was a really big deal.
After all, the loss dropped the Pistons to 3-16 and the future was bleak. Josh Smith shot 4-15 for the game and it was only his fouling out that let the Pistons get it to overtime. Brandon Jennings was a nifty 0-11 shooting and, yes, he really was mostly terrible during his tenure with the Pistons other than that stretch between Smith being waived and his injury.
Four of those steals and five of the blocks came from Drummond, pretty absurd when you combine it with his 27 points and 14 rebounds.
There was also this, oh my goodness, this:
Also, remember Vine? NBA Vine was great.
November 3, 2017 vs. Bucks
Hey, it may not be the most exciting song on the mix, but 14-16 from the free throw stripe from the guy who had been the worst free throw shooter in the history of the league belongs on album.
Here are the highlights and I really watched the whole six and a half minutes and it really is mostly just Andre Drummond getting fouled and shooting free throws. It’s its own form of awesome.
January 30, 2017 at Celtics
They’re going to stop letting Andre Drummond into Boston.
A fun part of this exercise has been digging through the DBB archives of all the great work that’s been done here and this game actually came as SVG was speaking out against the Muslim travel ban. The state of Massachusetts can’t have an Andre Drummond travel ban, can they?
So this was during Mike Snyder’s awesome High/Low series that preceded his The Close Out.
Andre Drummond has collected a lot of rebounds during his career. 5,241, to be exact. It’s second only to Dwight Howard for their age, only thanks to Howard getting bigger minutes early. And Mike shows what makes Dre’s rebounding special.
There’s only a handful of players in the history of the league who are able to get that rebound. That’s pretty cool.
Drummond finished with 28 points, 22 rebounds, three assists, and two each of steals and blocks.
Isaiah Thomas and his 41 points were too much for the Pistons to get past, but hey, Andre Drummond is averaging 20 points per game on 63 percent shooting, 16 rebounds, 1.8 blocks, and two steals at TD Garden.
They really ought to stop letting Dre into Boston.
January 16, 2015 at Pacers
A personal favorite. Because of this:
It wasn’t a terrific game for Drummond overall. 16 points and 16 rebounds can sneak into the greatest hits though, even with a 6-14 shooting line if one of those makes is a game winner.
Brandon Jennings was great and the catalyst for that win, but Drummond stepped up to seal it.
One other interesting note digging through the DBB archives, at this point folks were wondering if Drummond wanted out of Detroit thanks to the team sucking and him being marginalized. SVG brought him back:
"That was really the first time any head coach and I ever sat down and just had a heart to heart like that," Drummond said. "We both know what the problem was and for us to sit down and talk about it really shows that he cares. He wants everybody to be great but he knows that it starts with me. [Friday night] was a good night."
Coaching stability is a good thing.
January 21, 2015 vs. Magic
The world is a weird place. I love it. And I love studying history, and this is big reason why.
Drummond was awesome in the Pistons win. They were in the midst of their 12-3 post-JSE run. This was the last win of that run - and Brandon Jennings’ 20-20 game.
In the Pistons next game game, Jennings tore his Achilles in a devastating injury which led to the Pistons trading for Reggie Jackson at the trade deadline.
That led to the Pistons finding success during the 2015-16 season behind the Jackson-Drummond pick and roll, but stalling when Jackson was hurt the following year. And now it’s the Pistons’ closer.
It’s not exactly the Battle of the Milvian Bridge or Stalingrad, but there’s not another game in Drummond’s career that went from “here it’s one way” to “here it’s another” than this one.
Drummond was still able to thrive with Jennings at point. He put up 26, 17 rebounds, four steals and three blocks in this one. But Jennings wasn’t really a great pick and roll point guard. Reggie Jackson was.
This was the last great Drummond-Jennings performance before the Jackson era. It was awesome.
April 11, 2014 at Bulls
I always love the way my buddies Murder By Death close their albums. It’s with an epic ballad. Usually a bit tragic. A bit heroic. A bit of the villain’s point of view.
The Pistons’ record was 29-50. Not the most fun time to be a Pistons fan.
To me, this game was Spring Break 1899 for Dre.
Drummond finished the first half with 12 points, 19 rebounds (19 rebounds!), and two steals.
John Loyer was a terrible coach, but Andre Drummond was incredible for those final 32 games of the 2013-14 season. Awful season, awful coach, Drummond went out and played.
Dude killed it down the stretch. He ended with 26 points and 26 rebounds as a damn 20 year old.