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Andre Drummond makes a case for Defensive Player of the Year

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Yeah I know, I had a major double take too. Maybe, just maybe we’re not giving big fella his just due.

NBA: Detroit Pistons at Toronto Raptors Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

I’m an NBA junkie. There is no doubt. I read just about everything I can on the major websites and of course ESPN is one of my go-to’s. I started reading a piece by Marc Stein about Kevin Durant being his dark horse candidate for Defensive Player of the Year and a line very early on stopped me in my tracks:

Draymond Green, Rudy Gobert and Kawhi Leonard are, as usual, your headliners in the DPOY race ... with Andre Drummond quietly faring well in many advanced defensive categories despite the widespread so-so reviews of his play this season.

What? Are we talking about High/Low superstar (seemingly mostly on the Low end) Andre Drummond? No disrespect in the least for the amazing series that mophatt1 has been putting together but a feature of the Low end of the spectrum has been Drummond’s defensive miscues.

We all know Andre is a rebounding monster but that alone does not a DPOY finalist make. Yet, damn, feast your eyes on the numbers via Basketball Reference:

#1- Offensive rebounds
#3 - Defensive rebounds
#1 - Total rebounds
#8 - Steals
#20 - Blocks
#2 - Offensive rebound percentage
#1 - Defensive rebound percentage
#1 - Total rebound rebound percentage
#11 - Steal rebound
#2 - Defensive win shares

And then there’s this one:

#1 - Defensive rating

WAT.

Yes.

First.

  1. Andre DrummondDET 98.22
  2. Rudy GobertUTA 98.33
  3. Draymond GreenGSW 98.84
  4. Hassan WhitesideMIA 99.65
  5. Dwight HowardATL 100.66
  6. Kawhi LeonardSAS 101.17
  7. Anthony DavisNOP 101.48
  8. Kevin DurantGSW 101.49
  9. DeAndre JordanLAC 102.510

The eye test might say different but numbers don’t lie here. He may well be, for his entire career, an offense to the senses on the offensive end but there’s no doubt that he is a force on the defensive end.

Does that make him a max player? A franchise corner stone? A future hall of famer even? We may be debating that for his entire career. But based on these numbers I can’t help but hope his career begins and ends as a Piston.

Your thoughts?