This summer there was a lot of changeups in NBA free agency: Anthony Davis to the Lakers, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George to the Clippers, and Russell Westbrook to the Rockets. These were all blockbuster trades, but they also received the most of the spotlight because their teams are extremely popular right now. As these teams were being praised, others were taking a more-quiet approach to get what they wanted. The Detroit Pistons landed Derrick Rose in this offseason and did not receive much attention. Now, Detroit has a massive big three with Blake Griffin, Andre Drummond, and now Derrick Rose added to their roster.
People have counted out Rose after his long list of injuries, but he has certainly proved to the world that he still has game. In fact, last season (after all of the injuries) he got to play for the Timberwolves and ended up scoring a career-high 50 points with a game-saving block against the Jazz.
Rose is not the only player on the pistons that has had to work through injuries. Power Forward Blake Griffin has suffered numerous injuries to his knees throughout his career and they have affected his performance. I mean if an athlete is healthy they get to play more games, which gives them more time to practice their skills on the court and they have better stats.
In looking at Griffin’s past two seasons, this has been very apparent. In the 2017-2018 NBA season, he only played in 25 games and averaged 19.8 points per game due to his injuries, including his MCL sprain (Basketball Reference). Then last season Blake Griffin played 75 games and averaged 24.5 points per game — a career high for the 6’10” Power Forward.
The final role player on this big three is Andre Drummond. He is 6’11” and weighs 279 pounds. He has the ability to overpower his opponents in the paint because of his size and skill.
Perhaps the most impressive element to Drummond’s game is the fact that he has averaged 13.7 rebounds in his career — with an average of 15.6 rebounds on last season alone (Basketball Reference). He is the NBA Rebounding King. No one else in the league rebounds more than he does, which can be extremely advantageous to his team during high-intensity, game-winning scenarios.
This team is going to be very good this season and I am surprised that not too many are expecting the big three to do much. I think that the combination of Derrick Rose’s speed, slashing ability, and passing will complement well with Andre Drummond’s dominance in the paint and plentiful rebounding — while also gelling with Blake Griffin’s offensive power.
My advice to the Pistons:
Find a way to keep the big three healthy. Then everything else will fall into place.
Photo Credit:By Keith Allison – Flickr: Andre Drummond, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30694823