Piston of the Year 2015: Andre Drummond

As a new calendar year begins, it’s time to look back at an eventful 2015 and honor our Piston of the year, Andre Drummond.

In this seminal chapter of a new era of Detroit Piston basketball, one Piston has risen above the rest. It should come as no surprise that Piston Powered has chosen Andre Drummond as our Piston of the Year, considering the tremendous impact he had in 2015.

Drafted by then-President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars back in 2012 as essentially a project, the young big man has already risen to heights that the wildest expectations couldn’t have hoped for.

In the beginning stages of the 2015 calendar year, Drummond’s production upturned and gave an inkling that he was on the verge of a breakthrough, and he made that leap in the first couple months of 2015-16. Between the beginning of January 2015 until then end of the 2014-15 season, he averaged 14.3 points and 13.9 rebounds per game, both of which would have been career highs if they were carried over a full season.

Those numbers paled in comparison to his production at the start of this season. So far this year, Andre Drummond is averaging a splendid 18.1 points and 16.1 rebounds per game, and he is the centerpiece to one of the best starting five-man units in the NBA.

The individual performances that Drummond delivered in 2015 reads as some of the most impressive outings anybody has had in the NBA over that period.

On January 21st, Drummond scored 26 points on 10-for-14 shooting and added 17 rebounds against the Orlando Magic.

On February 20th, he recorded 18 points and 20 rebounds against the Chicago Bulls.

On March 11th, he had a phenomenal 22 point and 25 rebound effort against the soon-to-be NBA champion Golden State Warriors on the road in Oakland.

It was around that point that fellow frontcourt-mate Greg Monroe went down with an injury, leaving Drummond by himself as the lone big man in the paint, and his production took another leap forward.

Without Monroe and with his new point guard Reggie Jackson who was acquired from Oklahoma City, Drummond averaged 16.9 points and 14.5 rebounds over the last 16 games of the season, giving us a harbinger of things to come.

He went out and had an 18 point, 22 rebound game against the Boston Celtics, following it up two nights later against the Toronto Raptors with a 21 point and 18 rebound game. On March 29th, he scored 32 points and added 14 rebounds against the Miami Heat.

As for his individual performances this season, it’s been more of the same exemplary stuff.

Some of the big games from the previous season seem almost par for the course for Drummond, as his level of play has escalated. On October 30th, he had a 20 point, 20 rebound game against the Chicago Bulls. The next game out against the Indiana Pacers, Drummond had a preposterous 25 point, 29 rebound game and then two games later had a 29 point and 27 rebound effort against the Portland Trail Blazers.

In just a year’s time, Andre Drummond has vaulted from promising young big man to one of the best bigs in the NBA, if not the very best at this point in time. Let’s bear in mind that he turned 22 just this past August, as well. Barring injury or similar misfortune, Drummond may be a perennial challenger for Piston of the Year for years to come.

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