Andre Drummond has been with the Los Angeles Lakers for a couple of months now but has only shared the court with LeBron James for two games. The Lakers lost both of those games — with James leaving early due to injury in one of them — but Drummond was finally able to get a small taste of why he came to the Lakers in the first place.
In the two games he played alongside James and Anthony Davis, Drummond averaged 18 points and nine rebounds on 60% shooting. It’s a very small sample size, but it was clear that Drummond did his best work when the two stars were in the game with him.
Drummond said that playing with James — even for two games — showed a whole different perspective on the gravity that James has when he’s on the floor. “You know the time that we’ve had LeBron, just being on the same side as him as opposed to preparing to play against him, was huge because he demands a lot of attention,” Drummond said. “I didn’t realize how much attention he draws until being on the same court as him.
“I knew like how we prepared for him, we went through this, tried to make him frustrated, play him a certain way to get him out of his game. But to witness how other people prepare for him, it’s crazy. The whole is open because everybody is just staring at him the entire time [laughs].”
Part of the reason that James has been so incredibly successful is his ability to draw defenders and then use his elite court vision to find open players. Defenses often have to pick between letting him score at will, or letting him distribute as he pleases.
Drummond will be a major beneficiary of this during the postseason, as defenders collapse on James leaving him open right under the basket. The same can be said of Davis, who attracts nearly as much attention regardless of where he is on the court.
Hopefully, the Lakers have a chance to see everyone together for at least one game before the postseason just to test out some offensive schemes one final time before elimination becomes a possibility.
James aiming to return next week
James has had the last couple of games off after making a short-lived return to the floor. Reports are now indicating that he will make his next return on Tuesday or Wednesday though when the Lakers face the New York Knicks or the Houston Rockets, the latter of which is the night that the championship banner will be raised.
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