The Los Angeles Lakers’ recent signing of Andre Drummond could not have come at a better time. In the absence of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers have only won three of their past nine. While beating the Orlando Magic and Cleveland Cavaliers, it was clear the Lakers could use more firepower for this stretch run.
Why Andre Drummond will help the Los Angeles Lakers
Drummond’s stats for the year are slightly down at 17.5 points and 13.5 rebounds per game . His playing time has diminished by five minutes per game as well. Eventually, Drummond’s time came to a complete stop. Drummond has played one game since February 12. That was his debut with the Lakers when the All-Star suffered a toe injury. Here are five ways you can expect the former Connecticut Huskies start to impact the Lakers season moving forward.
Andre Drummond fills immediate needs
With James and Davis out for a while, among other injuries, the Lakers’ roster has been depleted. Dennis Schroder and Montrezl Harrell have been playing well. Schroder has been scoring and facilitating at a good rate. Harrell, on the other hand, has been a walking double-double. Other than one 25-point game by Kyle Kuzma, there has not been much help aside from that. Drummond comes in on the rare occasion when he can immediately make an impact on a title-contending team. If Drummond were to get starter minutes immediately, his impact could be huge. The last time Drummond averaged over 30 minutes per game, he put up 17.8 points and 15.8 rebounds per game.
The rebounding prowess of Drummond and how it helps the Los Angeles Lakers
As far back as basketball has been played, whoever controls the glass has a major advantage to win. Drummond is absolutely a professional rebounder. He’s been the kind of guy who goes out and grabs you 15 rebounds per night for almost his entire career. He averaged 16 rebounds per game with the Detroit Pistons in 2017-2018. Drummond once had 29 rebounds in a game. No matter what game situation it is you can rely on Drummond to rebound the ball. Come playoff time for the Lakers, this will be a big piece heading down the stretch.
Drummond’s devastating pick-and-roll game
Drummond’s pick-and-roll game has always been a little underrated. Early in his career with the Pistons, Drummond was a mainstay in the offense — almost purely off of pick-and-roll alley-oops from Brandon Jennings and Reggie Jackson. Later in his career, other pieces had been added around him and Drummond developed his game. Expect his role with the Los Angeles Lakers’ offense to be more like his early days in Detroit. With Schroder and James, the Lakers have two exceptional pick and roll ball handlers. Marc Gasol and Davis space the floor more and more. Drummond adds a different method of attack when the team is healthy.
Experience and a veteran leader helps the Lakers
Drummond is in his ninth year in the NBA and has started 573 games over that span. Drummond should be able to adjust to the Lakers’ style of play fairly easily, allowing him to take on a role as a key player in this stretch of injury for the Lakers. Hopefully, in doing this, he will develop chemistry with the other rotation players.
Drummond adds to the Los Angeles Lakers playoff depth
James and Davis are all hoping to return before the playoffs. Drummond, Davis, Gasol, Harrell, and Markieff Morris can all play the center position. There are just as many options at the power forward position, as well. The more pieces you have in the playoffs, it’s always a benefit.
Things change on a series-to-series basis. The world saw this last year with the Lakers in the playoffs. They would rotate from Javale McGee and Dwight Howard, depending on the series. There was a stretch of multiple games that neither played at all because of the depth the Lakers had. This Drummond move gives the Lakers that same advantage moving forward this season
As the Lakers go further down this final stretch, they will look to maintain a good position in the playoff race. While the roster is a bit battered at the moment, the signing of Drummond puts the Lakers in a position to make a push heading into the playoffs. Once all the pieces are back the Lakers are looking prime to defend their title.