Stan Van Gundy’s teams revolve around a dominant center. His teams in Orlando revolved around star center Dwight Howard, and players that can shoot three pointers. Van Gundy now has Andre Drummond in Detroit, and he surrounded Drummond with shooters. The 2015 Pistons are turning into the 2007 Magic, and Drummond is turning into Howard. Van Gundy is a centers coach.
Andre Drummond is off to a fantastic start in 2015. In eight games, Drummond has recorded eight double-doubles. He had three 20-20 performances, and Dwight Howard is the only other player in the NBA with one. Statistically, Drummond is averaging 18.8 points and 19.3 rebounds per game, per ESPN.com. He has the chance to be the first player since Wilt Chamberlain to average 20-20 in a season. His stats already look like Chamberlain’s.
Andre Drummond is the 1st player with 135 points & 135 rebounds through 7 team games since Wilt Chamberlain in 1970-71 (via @EliasSports)
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 10, 2015
The Pistons recently played the Sacramento Kings. This was the matchup of prime centers in Drummond and DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins after the game told David Mayo of mlive.com,
“Man, Andre is full of potential, man,” Cousins said. “I think he’s having an amazing year. I mean, he’s leading his team. The kid’s full of potential. He’s definitely one of the best bigs in this league.”
Drummond was appreciative of Cousins comments.
@boogiecousins appreciate what you said to me today. That was real???
— Andre Drummond (@AndreDrummondd) November 12, 2015
Drummond put up 17 points and 14 rebounds against Cousins. That was an off game for Drummond, and he still got praised by one of the NBA’s best centers. He has the chance to make a lot of money this offseason. He wants his contract to look similar to Dwight Howard’s.
Dwight Howard averaged 20.7 points and 14.2 rebounds per game in 2007-2008, his 4th NBA season, per ESPN.com. Howard’s 4th season was when he officially blossomed into a star, just like Drummond is now. He was the NBA’s best center at the end of the 2007-2008 season. Van Gundy’s system was perfect for Howard. Now it is perfect for Drummond.
In 2007, the Magic won the Southeast Division with a 52-30 record. The 2015-2016 Pistons are on pace to earn a 52-30 record, but isn’t likely to place first in the Central Division with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls. Van Gundy is quietly putting a solid team together in Detroit.
There is still much more basketball to be played. If Drummond continues this tear, he has the chance to place his name a top the league. Drummond will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season. Many teams will approach Drummond, but remember, Dwight Howard never looked the same once he left Van Gundy. Drummond has the potential to pass Dwight Howard if he stays with Van Gundy.
Howard and Drummond meet up twice this season. The first match up is on Monday, November 30th, 2015, in Detroit. The final is in Houston on Wednesday, January 20th, 2016. No one knows Dwight Howard better than Stan Van Gundy. Drummond will be ready to face Howard, if Howard miraculously lasts the whole season.