Los Angeles Lakers center Andre Drummond played his first full game with the team against the Miami Heat on Thursday night and gave a great look at what he will bring to the franchise.
The big man finished with 15 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and two steals, but the Lakers came up just short in a six-point loss to the Heat on the road.
After his first appearance in purple and gold, Drummond missed the ensuing three straight games due to what the Lakers called a toe contusion. Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez stepped on Drummond’s foot, ripping the entire toenail off of Drummond’s right big toe.
But following his second Lakers contest, Drummond expressed just minor issues with his toe issue. “It felt good. A little sore, but nothing that’s gonna hold me back,” the center said after the game.
And for the Lakers, they can ill afford to lose anyone else. In addition to LeBron James and Anthony Davis being out, the Lakers were also without Kyle Kuzma, who was dealing with a calf strain, and Talen Horton-Tucker who was suspended for a game for leaving the bench area during the scuffle against the Toronto Raptors.
Drummond gave fans a taste of what to expect with his all-around game. He flashed the ability to face-up and attack the rim and also dished some outstanding assists out of the double-team. While he did admit to some issues as he gets used to his new teammates, as is to be expected, he has full belief in the Lakers once they get healthy.
“This being my first real game I’ve played, it felt good being out there trying to figure guys out. I caught myself running into people now and again trying to make the right play to get people open, but the first game is out of the way. I got some film to watch to see where guys like to be on the floor and I think it’s going to be fun. We’ll be fine. Just getting guys back healthy and we’ll be fine.”
While this was Drummond’s first full game, he has been with the team for a couple of weeks now. The team, particularly James and Davis, have fully embraced him already and he is very thankful for that.
“It’s definitely a good feeling to have that respect from those guys and from the whole team. … It’s been incredible. A lot of fun to be here. I’m having a great time. I’m learning and what a better place to be.”
Drummond not worried about acclimating to James & Davis
Getting Drummond on the court is extremely important to the Lakers as they need to build chemistry, but the team will be completely different once James and Davis return to the lineup. Drummond will need to get used to a completely different role when the Lakers’ stars are on the court, but he isn’t concerned about it.
“I’m a smart basketball player,” Drummond said. “These guys are smart as well, too. I don’t think it’ll take very long for me to get adjusted and really figure out how to get all the engines running.”
But in the meantime, Drummond remains focused on the pieces the Lakers currently have and he completely believes in the what the team has available.
“You have to control what you can control,” Drummon added. “Those guys are out right now. I’ve got to work with the guys that we have here and they’re more than capable of helping us get wins.”
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