Using win shares, a decent measure of a player’s contributions, Portland’s Damian Lillard leads all rookies. No. 2 and No. 3? Singler and Andre Drummond. To call the Pistons’ first-year players pleasant surprises would be an understatement. They’ve been so good, they have a chance to give Detroit multiple all-rookie first-team players for the first time since Isiah Thomas and Kelly Tripucka in 1981-82.
With Drummond, the main question is: when? Nobody doubted Drummond’s potential. Many questioned how quickly he could reach it or whether he would get there. But nearly everyone could at least imagine a day when Drummond was a significant contributor. Possessing a 6-foot-10, 270-pound frame and incredible athleticism will do that.
But with Singler, the main question: how? Or more accurately: how in the world?
It can be tough to articulate exactly what Singler does so well, but while we’re trying to describe it, he’s turning around the Pistons’ season (from historically bad to regularly bad, but still).
Singler, with or without the ball, is constantly doing something to help his team score on each possession. That’s really valuable in a league with a shot clock and on a team with so many players prone to dribbling the life out of the offense.