Andre Drummond makes his case for big role one more time in Pistons win over Hawks in preseason finale

88  Recap | Box Score  104
Jason Maxiell, PF 17 MIN | 2-4 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | +11
Solid game. For a reserve. Who is a starter.
Tayshaun Prince, SF 28 MIN | 7-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 15 PTS | +5
Prince’s best preseason game was a great sign after he struggled this entire preseason.
Greg Monroe, C 31 MIN | 6-11 FG | 4-6 FT | 11 REB | 5 AST | 16 PTS | +2
Monroe also had his best preseason game, but I was most encouraged by the five assists. His passing has been under-utilized by the Pistons.
Brandon Knight, PG 31 MIN | 5-11 FG | 4-5 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 16 PTS | +12
Knight closed the preseason strong. He showed improved passing this preseason. His turnovers are still a work in progress, but his shot is falling, his decision-making is better and he’s more aggressive.
Rodney Stuckey, PG 29 MIN | 3-10 FG | 4-5 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 10 PTS | +8
The most troubling stat for me this preseason is Stuckey’s 3-point shooting. He led the team in attempts with 30 and only made eight. Hopefully, he’s not falling in love with that shot.
Jonas Jerebko, PF 15 MIN | 3-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 7 PTS | +15
Jerebko was solid once again and I think he’s Detroit’s best option as the backup small forward, even though he’ll get minutes at both spots. At the very least, he’s giving the team the ability to rest Prince more, something that’s important as Prince ages.
Andre Drummond, PF 19 MIN | 5-7 FG | 3-5 FT | 10 REB | 0 AST | 13 PTS | +9
What more can be said? Every time Drummond played big minutes this preseason, he showed he was the team’s second best big man. He has to play a large role on this team right off the bat.
Charlie Villanueva, PF 10 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -4
Villanueva’s effort was a little more game tonight, but at the end of the day, he’s a shooter who still shot just 1-for-17 this preseason. Not good enough for a rotation spot by a longshot.
Kyle Singler, SF 20 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | +11
Singler showed the hustle, energy and smarts that he’s known for, but his 6-for-14 preseason 3-point shooting is what should get him a rotation spot off the bat.
Khris Middleton, SF 4 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 3 PTS | -1
Middleton likely won’t play a lot during the season, but he’s made more than 50 percent of his 3-pointers this preseason, so I think that moves him ahead of Kim English.
Viacheslav Kravtsov, C 4 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -1
Kravtsov at the moment looks like six hard fouls at the end of the bench. There’s nothing wrong with that, but he also didn’t do much to show he could provide anything more at this point.
Will Bynum, PG 17 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 7 AST | 4 PTS | +4
Seven assists in 17 minutes caps a nice preseason by Bynum, where he showed that he could be a pass-first player at times and he could play at less than warp speed.
Kim English, SG 15 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 2 PTS | +9
English’s 3-point shooting was below 30 percent this preseason, and I don’t think that’s good enough to get him into the rotation.

Takeaways

 

Drummond has to play a lot. The Pistons are a different team when he’s on the court. He’s everything they needed him to be off the bat, and they need to reward him for that, not necessarily with the starting spot, but with lots of minutes.

A stab at the rotation:

  • Starters: Knight, Stuckey, Prince, Maxiell, Monroe. No upsets here, but I truly think Maxiell’s tenure will be short-lived. Drummond many not be fully ready, but ready or not, he’s their second best big on the roster.
  • Bench: Jerebko, Singler, Bynum, Drummond, Middleton. The first four are givens and Middleton will probably hold down a spot until Corey Maggette is healthy.
  • Out of the rotation: English didn’t really shoot well enough to get a spot and Kravtsov showed he’s not as advanced as Drummond.
  • Inactive: Villanueva, Daye, Maggette. Maggette will be in the rotation when healthy, but Villanueva and Daye were easily the worst players to step on the court for the Pistons consistently this preseason. It would be a mistake to have either guy in the rotation.

There wasn’t much else to say about this game. Monroe looked like a true hub of the offense, Drummond looked like his perfect complement and Prince looked comfortable for the first time this preseason playing in this lineup. I’m anxious to see how things go int he season opener Wednesday.

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Sunday, Oct 2626 Oct7:30Atlanta HawksBuy Tickets

Tags: Andre Drummond Brandon Knight Charlie Villanueva Greg Monroe Jason Maxiell Khris Middleton Rodney Stuckey Tayshaun Prince Vyacheslav Kravtsov Will Bynum

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