Andre Drummond had two of his best games as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers in back-to-back nights against the New York Knicks and Houston Rockets, giving Frank Vogel and the Lakers coaching staff increased confidence heading into the playoffs.
Drummond had been struggling to find his rhythm alongside Anthony Davis in the lineup, and there were concerns that he may simply not have enough time to figure things out before the postseason began. Then, all of a sudden, he rattled off averages of 18 points, 14 rebounds and 1.5 blocks over a two-game span.
Vogel has been extremely pleased with what he’s seen from Drummond on both ends of the court. “Dre has been great. We’re really challenging him to just be great on both sides of the ball. Protecting the rim and finishing around the basket, playmaking, being big on the offensive glass. I thought we saw that from him tonight and he had another strong performance, second night in a row.
“Trezz was playing great too with eight straight points in the fourth quarter, we decided to roll with him down the stretch with the small-ball lineups that they were playing. So I’m happy with what Drum has done the last two nights.”
One of the major drawbacks of Drummond so far is his average of 3.9 fouls per game since joining the Lakers, a significantly higher rate than usual for him. Vogel discussed why this might be the case.
“Yeah well his foul rate is much higher in a short time so far this year with our team than it’s been throughout his career. I think that’s just indicative of how hard he’s trying to compete on that side of the ball and trying to do what we’re asking him to do.
“That’s an effort thing and we just want our guys playing as smart as possible. We do have depth but we want Drum in the game, you know what I mean. We obviously want him to play without fouling but I’m fine with him making the mistake of aggression because he’s just competing.”
Luckily, should Drummond get in foul trouble, the Lakers have other options to turn to. This means that Drummond can play with aggression without having to worry too much about the Lakers falling apart in his absence. He wasn’t able to do that in his previous situations.
If Drummond can produce at his current rate and cut down on the fouls, then he will be a huge asset for the Lakers in certain postseason matchups.
Drummond finally felt normal in win vs. Knicks
Drummond had 16 points and 18 rebounds in a throwback game against the Knicks that perfectly matched his skill set. He said that the Lakers win was one of the first times he felt like himself since joining L.A. “I finally felt normal for once,” Drummond admitted. “Just kind of finding my rhythm while I’m out there. Doing what I do best. Rebounding the ball, kicking it out for threes and finishing in the paint when I get the ball.
“Like I told you guys before, I’m still trying to get a rhythm. It’s been two months since I’ve played and I’m on a new team trying to figure out a new role. These games or these practice games should give a bigger vision in sight, so these games I’m taking to really figure it out. Find my place and make sure it sticks”
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