After a promising rookie season in ’12-13, and a dominant summer league, Andre Drummond is continuing to grow his game as the Pistons’ starting center. Drummond has already tallied eight double-doubles in the first 11 games of his sophomore campaign, one less than his total in 60 games last season.
Drummond makes his presence known on the defensive end, grabbing 12 rebounds along with two steals and 1.5 blocks per game. He has also proven efficient on the offensive end, attempting just over nine shots per game and averaging a league-leading 65 percent from the field.
Sliding across the locker room to power forward is Greg Monroe, the versatile big man out of Georgetown. Last season, Monroe averaged a career-best 3.5 assists, solidifying his reputation as one of the NBA’s best-passing bigs. Monroe, now in his fourth season, will become a restricted free agent after not receiving an extension by the deadline.
While the Pistons were expected to have a formidable frontcourt due to the consistency of Monroe, emergence of Drummond, and addition of free-agent forward Josh Smith, the team has faced its share of early season challenges. This is partly due to the overlapping skill sets of the three bigs, and the way their efficiency deteriorates away from the paint. While the frontcourt is looking for its chemistry on both ends, the starting backcourt has a completely new identity as well. As the Pistons come together, and the players begin to better utilize their strengths, it will be interesting to see how Detroit matches up with the better front lines in the League.
Before Detroit’s November 20 game in Atlanta, both Drummond and Monroe caught up with SLAM TV to talk their games, the Pistons’ defensive identity and Rasheed Wallace’s impact as a member of the coaching staff.
—Tracy Weissenberg / @basketballista