Andre Drummond, Pistons — Dec. 5: I can hear the criticism now. All he does is dunk! But it is never an opposing coach who utters that silly phrase, because they know a dunk is the highest percentage shot in basketball. Sure, Drummond has a few nifty moves in his still-in-training-wheels offensive game, as he showed against Golden State with a nice spin to the rim and 1. But his dunks are what make his coaches smile and his opponents sweat, because he is getting them the right way by hanging around the paint with his hands up, ready to catch and explode.
So many young athletes enter the NBA and don’t play that way, instead choosing to show off their perimeter skills or finesse game in the paint. For example, DeMarcus Cousins took four shots per game inside (making 64 percent) and three per game from 16 to 23 feet (making 37 percent) as a rookie. Drummond, on the hand, takes almost four shots a game inside and less than a half a shot per game from the perimeter. With his size and agility, he won’t need a perimeter game for years.
Yes, yes and yes. I can’t stand the people who bash Blake Griffin for being one-dimensional offensively, and this is why. The way Griffin – and Andre Drummond – play basketball is incredibly effective. Teams need players who can shoot jumpers, because dunks aren’t available on every possession. But dunks are such a high-percentage shot, teams should use them as often as possible, and thankfully for the Pistons, Drummond provides dunk opportunities very frequently.
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