Drummond is the best rebounder in the NBA and will fill an immediate hole at center for the Lakers
Everyone assumes that the Nets will win this year’s NBA Championship because they have James Harden, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and now Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge to add on to their superteam. The Nets have won almost every game in Kevin Durant’s absence over the past couple of months due to arguably the best offense in the history of basketball with James Harden at the helm. They aren’t even at full strength and look like the best team in the NBA right now. However, emphasize right now. A lot can change, especially in the playoffs. The playoffs are a whole different story and teams play way differently when their season is on the line.
Yes, the Lakers have been struggling to win games without LeBron James and Anthony Davis, but even with those guys playing earlier in the year, they were lacking an interior presence on both ends of the floor. Slot in Andre Drummond, who is averaging 17.5 PPG, 13.5 RPG, 1.6 SPG, and 1.2 BPG and they finally have the interior guy they were lacking previously. At the end of the offseason, the Marc Gasol signing seemed promising, but no one can dispute that he has played awful this season. Yes, he can pass and shoot, but his interior defense and inside post-scoring have regressed dramatically. I know Frank Vogel said that he would continue to play Marc Gasol, alongside Drummond, Harrell, and Davis over the rest of the season, but Gasol is a liability on the court and the Lakers should really consider waiving him as soon as possible.
Anyways, back to Drummond, who was by far the most talented buyout signing in recent memory, even with all of the hate he gets on Twitter. I don’t understand the hate toward Drummond whatsoever. Yes, it is true that if Drummond is an old-style center whose game does not fit the modern NBA. But so is Jarett Allen, and he seems to be doing just fine. People that hate on Drummond really didn’t watch how he performed for the Cavaliers over the first 15-20 games of the season. He was averaging over 20 PPG and 14 RPG, with Colin Sexton and him being the main options on offense. This resulted in the Cavs winning a ton of games. Drummond has really polished his offensive game as he is now a serious scoring threat, not just a ferocious rebounder. He will bring this new style of winning basketball to the Los Angeles Lakers, and although he won’t be a top 2 or 3 option on offense anytime he is on the floor, he will provide elite interior defense, elite rebounding, and some post-scoring as well. Drummond is also the best offensive rebounder in the league, which will undoubtedly provide many more open shots for his teammates.
I am not worried about the Lakers shooting woes so far this season. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Markeiff Morris, Wesley Matthews, and Alex Caruso are all experienced players and will shoot better as the season progresses. They will have to step up their game in the playoffs and I am confident that they will. Assuming LeBron and Anthony Davis come back fully healthy before the playoffs begin, this team has so much talent and depth that they will be hard to beat by anyone, including the Nets. The Nets have offense, but the Lakers have both offense and defense now with the addition of Drummond. Schroder, Harrell, Horton-Tucker, and Kuzma have all been great on both ends of the floor, especially Kuzma, who has turned into a really good defender. Harrell too is not known for his defense but has stepped it up this season. LeBron was playing some of the best defense of his career before getting hurt while Anthony Davis is arguably the best defender in the league when healthy. Adding Andre Drummond only makes this team’s defense and offense better, making them balanced and deep enough to handle the Brooklyn Nets in a 7 game series.
Now going back to Brooklyn. Everyone expects them to steamroll through the East, but this Eastern Conference isn’t the weak conference it used to be. Philadelphia, Milwaukee, and Miami are all title contenders that match up well in a 7 game series against the Nets. I did not name Boston or Indiana because I don’t think either of those teams is deep enough, even with how talented they are, to match up with the Nets. As I previously said, the biggest threat to the Nets are the Lakers, but that is only if they can get out of their conference. The Miami Heat are a sleeper to beat the Nets. They are the team to watch because the addition of Victor Oladipo improves this team’s depth and balanced offensive and defensive scheme tremendously. Oladipo will join a very talented and deep team with Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro, Bam Adebayo, Duncan Robinson, Kendrick Nunn, Goran Dragic…etc. The Heat have arguably the best coach in the NBA, and they have an elite defense that is needed to beat an elite offense in the Nets.
Furthermore, Lakers fans should be ecstatic with the addition of Andre Drummond, who fills the team’s biggest hole in interior defense and post-scoring on offense. As long as Anthony Davis and LeBron James come back fully healthy, this team is now deep and talented enough to beat the Nets in a 7 game series. Without the acquisition of Drummond, I don’t like the Lakers’ chances against the Nets or even the Clippers. They needed that big presence inside against bigger and more physical teams since Harrell is only 6-8 and Marc Gasol wasn’t getting it done. Now since they have that, they will be unstoppable at full strength and will be able to repeat as NBA champions. Don’t buy into the hype the media promotes about the Nets. Drummond makes the Lakers title favorites and nothing the Nets do will change that.