Andre Drummond had his worst game of the summer league Tuesday against Kyle O’Quinn and the Orlando Magic. Brian Windhorst of ESPN writes that that was no accident. O’Quinn, an underrated player from a small college who fell in the draft, purposely used the opportunity to play against a hyped, big-school lottery pick to show what he could do:
Tuesday, for example, he became the personal target of Orlando Magic rookie Kyle O’Quinn, who was the 49th pick overall. O’Quinn went after Drummond both physically and mentally, bashing into him and trash talking all the way. Drummond did not appear totally up for the moment, posting a three-point, three-rebound game. Afterward, O’Quinn, a four-year college player at little Norfolk State who showed polished footwork and extreme confidence, crowed about outworking the lottery pick from the big school.
“I wouldn’t say people look at me as a target, just a player they need to play against,” Drummond said matter-of-factly. “Why would someone target me just because I’m a lottery pick?”
Well actually Andre … yes. There’s a lot of charming naivete in that quote from Drummond. In fact, one of the common descriptions of Drummond by former teammates and coaches is that he’s a genuinely really nice person, sometimes to his detriment on the court. The NBA is full of grudge-holders, full of guys who are motivated by slights both real and perceived, full of guys who use the opportunity to play against higher profile players to show that they are better.
But the most promising thing about Drummond so far this summer? He rebounded from that sluggish performance against Orlando and played really well against Oklahoma City the next day. Developing a mental toughness and ability to move past poor performances is huge for young players and it was great to see Drummond was able to do that.
(Oh, and feel free to use this as your open thread for today’s game, which is already underway, since I forgot to post one)
- Teams: Detroit Pistons vs. Boston Celtics
- Date: July 12, 2012
- Time: 11 a.m.
- Television: NBATV