Dec 22, 2013, 3:30 PM EDT
Howard rebound over Drummond.
Howard passed around Drummond.
When it was all over, Howard had 35 points on 13-of-18 shooting, 19 rebounds and five assists in the Rockets win over the Pistons on Saturday.
Any talk that Howard has lost his place as the NBA’s best center should be iced for a while. Drummond, one of the top young challengers to the mantle, was completely overwhelmed in the matchup.
But the 20-year-old Pistons big man made his mark while talking to Howard after the game. Drummond on what he told Howard, via Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News:
“I thanked him. I told him thank you for teaching me something,” Drummond said. “It was my first time playing him, it was definitely a learning experience for me.”
That’s an, um, interesting way to go. I can’t imagine Howard has been thanked many times by an opponent he just dominated.
But that’s just Drummond. He plays with good feelings rather than ill will. He doesn’t use a faux hate of his adversaries to motivate him. It just works for him.
And if getting dominated by Howard on Saturday works for him, Drummond should be in great shape going forward. He’s already, for my money, the best center in the Eastern Conference, though Roy Hibbert and Al Horford are close. Drummmond needs fine-tuning – Saturday proved that – but his physical skills give him such a head start.
Announcement: Pro Basketball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $12,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Sunday night’s games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $2,500. Starts at 6pm ET on Sunday. Here’s the FanDuel link.
Drummond’s attitude, though? That’s just fine and dandy already. Refreshing even.
Drummond acts how he wants to act, even if it’s unconventional. He’s clearly not emulating other players just to emulate them.
Plus, it appears his cheerfulness is spreading. Howard, via Goodwill:
“I love Andre,” Howard said. “The way he’s been playing this year, I told him before the game, he’s having an amazing season, keep doing what he’s doing. He’ll be fine.”
That is true. If Drummond keeps doing what he’s doing, he’ll be fine.
But if he stops doing what he did Saturday, he’ll be great. And then rest of the league certainly won’t be thanking Howard for preparing a budding star to play even better.
Mar 11, 2014, 4:43 PM EDT
It’s been clear for a while that Kobe Bryant was done for the season. The Lakers would not say that publicly for the same reason the Bulls would not say Derrick Rose would not come back last playoffs when we all knew he wouldn’t. They don’t want to anger their star player, and if fans…
Mar 11, 2014, 3:44 PM EDT
If Andrea Bargnani is out the rest of the season, Knicks fans will be good with that.
Mar 11, 2014, 2:50 PM EDT
Why to the Boston Celtics need a St. Patrick’s Day uniform? Good question. But they have one now, with sleeves.
Mar 11, 2014, 1:56 PM EDT
The last time LeBron went back-to-back games without a trip to the free throw line he was a rookie.
Mar 11, 2014, 1:10 PM EDT
To be fair to the ball boy, nobody expects Tyler Hansbrough to make a steal on the perimeter then race out on the fast break by himself.
Mar 11, 2014, 12:25 PM EDT
Don’t use cotton swabs, kids.
Mar 11, 2014, 11:47 AM EDT
With backup center Ian Mahinmi out for the night, the Andrew Bynum era in Indiana will begin Tuesday against Boston.
Mar 11, 2014, 11:25 AM EDT
Conflicts with yesterday’s prominent report
Mar 11, 2014, 11:11 AM EDT
All the way to playoffs?
Mar 11, 2014, 10:43 AM EDT
Also compares his phone to bell bottoms, which might be pretty ironic, but I’m not a fasion expert.
Mar 11, 2014, 10:03 AM EDT
Yannick Noah would rather do more of the Dikembe Mutombo finger wag
Mar 11, 2014, 9:30 AM EDT
This seems like more than a coincidence.
Mar 11, 2014, 8:44 AM EDT
Griffin should have gone for the full tear, though.
Mar 11, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT
“There’s no better preparation than going straight to the NBA… I think the NBA is the best teacher.”
Mar 11, 2014, 3:20 AM EDT
Blake Griffin is good at basketball. Also: Kyle Korver can still shoot.
Mar 11, 2014, 3:05 AM EDT
Los Angeles learned an important less on Monday — don’t let up against the Suns.
Mar 11, 2014, 1:18 AM EDT
“We got tangled up and went down and, you know,” Griffin said with a grin after the game.”Took a little forearm. But you know, it happens.”
Mar 11, 2014, 12:14 AM EDT
This was not the one shot Griffin missed on Monday.
Mar 10, 2014, 11:05 PM EDT
Guard has been out since Jan. 10 surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee.
- Vogel: Andrew Bynum to play for Indiana Pacers Tuesday night 10
- Report: Phil Jackson expected to finalize contract with Knicks by end of week 31
- The Extra Pass: Gerald Green doesn’t regret moment of his winding journey to NBA stardom 11
- Monday NBA grades: Blake Griffin shows off his jumper (and yes, he can still dunk) 9
- Suns’ P.J. Tucker ejected after elbow thrown to Blake Griffin’s head (VIDEO) 19