The Los Angeles Lakers enjoyed success with a two-center rotation last season because JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard committed to the same role despite the fact that Howard was a more accomplished player than McGee, at least from an individual standpoint.
Andre Drummond, 27, is at a different stage of his career than Howard was last season, but he told Kyle Goon of the OC Register that he’s willing to play a similar role for the Lakers this year
“I know what the main focus is, which is to win a championship,” Drummond said. “So sacrifices will be made, and that’s something I’m comfortable with. I don’t have an issue with giving up certain aspects of my game for the better of the team, or what’s best for the team. And I’m in a great situation right now where I can showcase myself in a different light.”
Drummond also detailed the steps he took during his two months away from the Cleveland Cavaliers in order to best prepare himself to play a different type of role with a contending team:
Drummond and Remy knew that wherever he landed, he’d likely be needed for his defensive ability more than his offense. Some of the focus points were staying low in a stance for long periods; gauging timing for blocks and contests; practicing guarding the pick-and-roll, and evaluating when to reach for the ball and when to hang back. Everything they did was with tempo: “There was not really any half-assed workouts,” Drummond said. “There was no spot shots or nothing like that.”
While Drummond has only played a total of 64 minutes for the Lakers, the early returns have been good.
Through three games, Drummond has averaged 13 points and 8 rebounds per game while averaging 21.3 minutes per game. On Saturday, when the Lakers played the Brooklyn Nets, he tallied 20 points, 11 rebounds, a block and a steal in 22 minutes of play and posted a +18 in the box score. Again, it’s early, but he’s lived up to the hype.
The two biggest question marks surrounding Drummond are what his role will look like when LeBron James and Anthony Davis return and what his role will look like in the postseason. Will he play a bigger role than McGee and Howard did because of what an imposing force he is in the paint, or will he, too, be asked to sit for games at a time? — and if it’s the latter, is that something he’ll be okay with?
Only time will tell, but right now, Drummond is saying and doing all of the right things.