Mar 03, 2012; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies forward Roscoe Smith (22) and center Andre Drummond (12) defend in the second half against Pittsburgh Panthers forward J.J. Moore (44) at Gampel Pavilion. UConn defeated the Panthers 74-65. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-US PRESSWIRE

2012 Offseason: Drummond putting on a serious game face

Critics of Pistons’ lottery pick Andre Drummond often thought that he wasn’t serious enough in college to be as successful as possible. They considered his lack of intensity as indifference. Apparently, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

“That’s one of the things I had to change about my game, me as a person,” Drummond recently told MLive. “That was one of the knocks on me, that I don’t take the game seriously.  People see what they see on the outside but they don’t know how I really feel when I’m playing.  When I’m playing the game, I’m as serious as can be.  But I never really show people how I really feel on the inside, so they think I’m joking around, I’m playing around.  But to me, I’m really playing as hard as I can.”

Personally, I don’t think the rookie big man can show enough emotion on the court in his first year. There are already (unwarranted) comparisons to Darko Milicic, the team’s 2003 top pick and eventual bust. After being used as basically six fouls and a “human victory cigar,” Milicic’s indifference truly surfaced; he pouted on the sidelines and he lacked any real effort in practices or games.

Rasheed Wallace, on the other hand, was a case of potentially too much emotion. When he got flustered on the court, he would have one of two reactions: play harder and smarter, or take out his frustrations on the referees. He took offense to seemingly any event on the court, and that motivation helped him become an unstoppable player… or a detriment to the team.

That type of unpredictability isn’t what Joe Dumars and company are looking for, though. If anything, a combination of the two players would be ideal – serious and focused when needed, but also laid-back enough to not let frustration take over his game. Considering how important Drummond’s development should be to the Pistons, head coach Lawrence Frank will likely make sure to keep a close eye on him.

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