Andre Drummond has had some good games and some rough outings since joining the Los Angeles Lakers in March after being added on the buyout market. But with the return of superstar big man Anthony Davis just around the corner, everything is set to change.
Drummond has operated basically as the sole big man since joining L.A. but will soon be part of a huge Lakers frontcourt pairing. This is nothing new to Davis, who spent much of last season on the court with JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard. Drummond meanwhile also has some experience playing with Davis and is looking forward to his return.
“You know what, I have no idea (laughs),” Drummond said when asked how he and Davis would work together. “I have no idea, but I’m looking forward to being on the same court as him. Played with AD for many years with USA Basketball, so the experience is there. Look forward to being back on the court with him again. I think he should be back very soon, so very excited to start that bond together on the court.”
The Lakers’ two-big lineup dominated teams inside last season and they are surely hoping for more of the same this year with Drummond in tow. Davis’ versatility and ability to play on the perimeter allows Drummond to patrol the paint. Additionally, Davis commands so much attention that it could allow more rebounding opportunities.
Perhaps most importantly, it lessens the load on Drummond to be a major offensive factor for the Lakers. Drummond’s best attributes are his rebounding and defensive presence and he knows the return of Davis means he will need to focus even more on the other aspects of the game.
“Definitely my role here is different than previous teams that I’ve been on. Me being on Cleveland [Cavaliers] and Detroit [Pistons], they looked for me to be the main guy to score points and do all the other intangible things. While I’m here, I’m here to make this team good on both ends of the court. Whatever they need me to do, I’m trying to get the job done. I’m adjusting very well. It’s taking some time, but I’m figuring it out day in and day out.
Drummond also noted that he’s still getting his legs under him, but doesn’t think that’ll be an issue much longer.
“Defensively, we’re starting to get it together. Offensively, I’m starting to find the shots I normally take. Now it’s just getting my legs under me. I’ve been out for the past month and a half, so it’s trying to get that game legs together. A few more games I’ll be fine. AD and LeBron [James] coming back soon, that chemistry will start to build up more.”
If the Lakers are fully healthy, Drummond becomes the fourth or even fifth offensive option for the team, but that isn’t why they brought him in. The big man is here to provide a defensive presence inside and on the glass primarily with scoring being a bonus.
Once Davis and LeBron James return it gives Drummond one of the best playmakers in NBA history to play off of, and another talented big to take more attention away, allowing him to thrive even more. As long as they are able to build chemistry ahead of the playoffs, Drummond and Davis will be a force to be reckoned with.
Davis building up conditioning, could return against Mavericks
The first opportunity for Davis and Drummond to suit up could be the Lakers’ next game. Davis had already been cleared for full on-court activities and now he is simply building up his conditioning for his return.
“He got some good work in after our team meeting this morning,” head coach Frank Vogel said prior to the Lakers’ contest against the Utah Jazz. He’s going to continue to build up over the next two days and see how he’s feeling going into that Dallas [Mavericks] game”
The Lakers have a two-game set in Dallas before trips to Orlando and Washington round out their short road trip. Davis’ return during this trip looks to be a foregone conclusion.
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