Andre Drummond made his Los Angeles Lakers debut on Wednesday night, and it was everything head coach Frank Vogel could have asked for in the first quarter.
He didn’t grab a significant number of rebounds as expected, but he did draw defenders into the paint, allowing wide-open shots on the perimeter.
L.A. went 8-for-13 from three in the first, giving them a small lead over the Milwaukee Bucks. It was all downhill from there though, as Drummond hurt his toe in his second stint and was eventually removed for the rest of the game. In quarters 2-4, the Lakers lost 88-67 to suffer the defeat.
Still, Vogel was happy with what he saw from Drummond, specifically the way he was able to help others get open looks. “He draws a lot of attention in the paint,” Vogel said of Drummond. “During that stretch, we really shot the ball well from the perimeter.
“We had some drill work in practice yesterday and it created a lot of open shots for guys. … I thought that part paid off. We’re playing the right way offensively, generating high-quality looks and Andre rolling to the basket and being in the paint draws a lot of attention and guys knock down shots during that stretch, so it definitely benefited it us during that.”
Defensively, Vogel was pleased with the effort Drummond gave, saying it was exactly what they expected from him.
“You see the physical presence that he brings. The athleticism blocking shots at the rim, striping the basketball with his quick hands, and the ability to move his feet and contain while taking the big-shoulder contact and staying in there. He’s definitely going to help us on that side of the ball and we saw some it tonight.”
Drummond clearly showed why he was the Lakers’ main focus heading into the buyout market. Alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis, there’s no telling the type of impact a player of his caliber can have.
In 2020, JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard were outstanding at the center position, and 27-year old Drummond figures to be better than both.
Drummond to be re-evaluated on Thursday
While Drummond’s debut was impressive, it was short-lived. The Lakers center got hurt and left the game after 14 minutes of play after his foot was stepped on by Brook Lopez. Vogel did not have an update after the game, but said when Drummond will be re-evaluated. “He’ll be re-evaluated tomorrow, see how he feels overnight.”
The Lakers’ next game is Friday against the Sacramento Kings. Hopefully, Drummond is able to play in what could be a very winnable game.
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