Andre Drummond has always been viewed as the same type of player, a rebounding machine who can give you a double double every night. Despite making multiple All Star teams, Drummond doesn’t seem to get the credit that he deserves. This might be because he has only played 4 career playoff games.
This year however, Drummond has been playing like an MVP candidate with Blake Griffin out with an injury. Through 7 games, he has averaged an absurd 22 points and 19 Rebounds a game while shooting a career best 61%. He has also improved his shooting from the free throw line, shooting 64% from the stripe. His 131 rebounds leads the league, and the next closest is Kevin Love with only 91. He’s had the most amount of rebounds through 7 games since he did it himself back in 2015. The only other player with that amount of rebounds through 7 games was Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman. He also has been wreaking havoc on defense as well, as he’s 3rd in the league in Blocks and 19th in steals. He’s had three straight 20-20 games, which has not been accomplished since Demarcus cousins in 2015.
Drummond has been the (very) early season MVP so far, showing how he is one of the most underrated players in the entire NBA. People don’t talk about Drummond’s games simple because it is gritty. He can’t shoot the ball like Towns, has dazzling post moves like Embiid, or has point guard vision like Jokic. The fact is he doesn’t need to do anything fancy, because he is so good at what he does. Drummond is the type of player that would have been a perennial All Star 20 years ago. Think of the battles Drummond would of had between Tim Duncan, Yao Ming, and Shaquille O’Neal. Drummond is one of those lunch pail players that will do all the gritty work for a team. He’s also extremely reliable for a Pistons team with a history for injuries, having only missed 10 games in his last 6 seasons. Banging in the post as much as he does while barely missing any time is impressive, and speaks to how valuable Drummond is to Detroit.
The Motor City has their hard working star, and at only 26 years old, it seems like Drummond is getting even scarier. While he has been playing at a high level since his second season, his numbers have improved over time. Last season he reached career highs in points, blocks, and defensive win shares. Drummond could even break the single season record for most 20-20 games in a season, with Kevin Willis having 12 of those games back in 1992. Drummond already has 4 out of the 7 he’s played, so don’t be surprised if he shatters that mark this year.