Andre Drummond has been somewhat inconsistent in his first month with the Los Angeles Lakers. Despite Frank Vogel giving him the bulk of the center minutes, his performances have ranged from incredible to borderline unplayable.
He’s particularly struggled in the Lakers’ last three games, largely due to being in foul trouble.
He had five fouls in a four-point, zero-rebound outing against the Denver Nuggets and then had five again in the team’s blowout loss to the L.A. Clippers, only scoring nine points and grabbing six rebounds. Then, Drummond fouled out in Friday’s loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, scoring just four points to go along with nine rebounds.
With time running out to get accustomed to the Lakers system, Vogel spoke about what Drummond can do over the Lakers’ final five regular season games.
”He’s got to just continue each game. The more he gets out there the more he’s gonna learn what we’re asking him to do, learn our defensive schemes and offensive system, learn his teammates and hopefully he’s growing a little more each game.”
Marc Gasol has provided quality minutes for the Lakers while Drummond has struggled, but it appears that Vogel really wants to give Drummond a chance to prove his value to the lineup. In the playoffs, all three Lakers centers will see their minutes shrink because of Anthony Davis, but it’s important that the team remains effective with Drummond on the court.
Drummond has had a negative plus-minus in 11 of his 16 games with the Lakers, but has still put up some dominant performances during that stretch. If he wants to be the starter in the postseason and get consistent minutes, he needs to show what he can do in the final five games.
As is evident by last year’s playoffs, Vogel has no problem putting centers on the bench for the entirety of the game. And although Drummond is better than JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard, it won’t matter if he can’t find his rhythm within this lineup.
Harrell benched in loss to Trail Blazers
As previously stated, Vogel is not afraid to bench his centers for entire games. On Friday night against the Trail Blazers, he completely went away from Montrezl Harrell in favor of Gasol.
Vogel explained the decision afterwards. “With Marc, it’s just Dame Lillard and two really big centers and I just wanted to use Marc’s defense,” Vogel said after the Lakers’ five-point loss to the Blazers.
“Also without a primary playmaker offensively, there’s two ways to go, you can play through Trezz a lot rolling to the basket, but Marc sort of energizes the whole group with his passing. So it’s impossible decision to find the right choice here but we decided to go with Marc and he played great.”
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