Andre Drummond was almost moved before the trade deadline, and the talks were at once shocking and understandable.
Shocking because Drummond is the franchise center of the Pistons, their biggest star, and the player that creates the most impact when he’s playing well. Understandable because Drummond has a habit for disappearing in certain situations, and his defense has never caught up to his athleticism.
On Wednesday night in a 109-86 beatdown loss to the Pelicans, Drummond made an early exit -- this time not because of being yanked by Stan Van Gundy, but instead because of this sequence with the Pelicans’ Tim Frazier:
Now, on the replay it appears as if Frazier makes contact with a low swipe near Drummond’s Draymond Green region, which would explain Drummond’s reaction. But the decision was still unfortunate. Drummond has to realize how important he is to the Pistons and contain himself. A swipe to someone’s head is almost always going to earn an ejection. But honestly, these things happen in the course of a game.
Moments and games like this are why you can never be clear on whether the Pistons are going somewhere or stuck in mediocrity. They start to make a small push and then backslide. The Pelicans hadn’t won since trading for DeMarcus Cousins over the All-Star break, and Cousins was suspended for this game. Drummond should have beasted in this one -- but instead he just got tossed.
And Stan Van Gundy wasn’t having any of it after the game:
“We lose our composure last night and get a technical that [almost] cost us the game, and then tonight he loses his composure,” Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said, referring to Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s technical with 10.8 seconds left in the Pistons’ 120-113 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers. “Yeah, it’s ridiculous.”
Yeah, everything seems peachy with the Pistons.