Lakers News: Andre Drummond Praises Jazz’s Rudy Gobert As ‘Great Defensive Player’
Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Andre Drummond had the best game of his Los Angeles Lakers tenure on Saturday in the team’s win over the Utah Jazz. However, the Jazz were missing their perennial Defensive Player of the Year candidate in Rudy Gobert and their backup center in Derrick Favors. This left an undersized Ersan Ilyasova to cover Drummond.

Monday, with Gobert and Favors back in the lineup, Drummond did not nearly have the same level of success. He in fact struggled considerably to get things going on offense, finishing the game with eight points on 3-for-12 shooting and was a minus-15. Meanwhile, Gobert had a 14-point, 10-rebound double-double with two blocks.

Drummond said he felt the Lakers got off to a really slow start that made it very difficult to recover, especially when the Jazz had multiple players who did not play in their overtime game on Saturday. “I think we started off really slow this game,” Drummond said. “A little bit of heavy legs from the last game being in OT.

“Those guys were fresh, so they had a lot of energy. I think for us personally we can’t allow ourselves to start like that because it’s hard to fight back in games like that.”

The Lakers center also gave credit where credit is due, giving praise to Gobert even if he doesn’t believe he was the reason for his poor shooting night.

“I missed shots. That’s really what it boils down to. Obviously, he’s a great player and he’s a great defensive player as well, too. He’s able to alter people’s shots, including mine. His presence in the paint is always felt. That doesn’t stop me from trying to take it to him each and every time.”

Drummond’s lack of success against Gobert was not due to a lack of effort. The Jazz center simply got the better of Drummond on Monday night. However, there’s no guarantees it would be like that in any potential playoff matchup between the two teams.

As it stands, the Lakers and Jazz could possibly face one another in the second round of the postseason. There, it would be fascinating to see how two fully healthy teams operate against one another. L.A. has not faced the Jazz this season with all of their players in the lineup.

Vogel calls Gobert a ‘difference-maker’

Lakers head coach Frank Vogel also had some kind words about the Jazz defensive star. He said that while Drummond played what he thought to be a good game, Gobert is simply that good on that end of the floor.

“Gobert is a difference-maker. He’s one of the best defensive players in the league, but I still thought Drum had some really good looks inside. I thought he used his power effectively against him. Missed some shots that he normally makes, but Rudy Gobert is a difference-maker for these guys.”

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