Point/Counterpoint: Better NBA potential?
Dan thinks Jeremy Lamb, Tyler thinks Andre Drummond
Published: Thursday, June 28, 2012
Updated: Thursday, July 12, 2012 13:07
Tyler: It’s always best to have as much experience as you can in your profession, but don’t let Andre Drummond’s age fool you. He is an excellent pick for the Detroit Pistons since he will have plenty of time to mature and improve his already solid game. Drummond is a rare type of player who is able to combine his impressive size (7’0, 270lbs) with athleticism and great ball skills. With his 7’ 6’’ wingspan, Drummond provides a physical presence who can run the floor. His size does not hinder his athleticism, and Drummond registered only seven percent body fat at the NBA scouting combine.
Dan: Jeremy Lamb is going to a pretty good team in the Houston Rockets, who finished 34-32 in a loaded division. As a sophomore, Lamb had a lot to live up to since Kemba left for the Bobcats—poor guy—and Lamb handled the pressure pretty well. Could he have done better in key games? Sure, but on a team full of underperforming players, Lamb was probably the best one. I think he’ll make a better pro than Andre Drummond will. Lamb will be in a good spot to win, he’ll have decent talent around him and he’ll thrive without all the pressure of being the go-to guy.
Tyler: Jeremy Lamb did have a good season with the Huskies last year, he led the team in points. But often times during games he would fade away. It’s something that Lamb will need to overcome to make his mark in the NBA. A big reason that Drummond will make a bigger splash is he can defend the post well and is a decent shot blocker. Drummond averaged 2.7 blocks a game in his freshman season at UConn. There are not many large shot blockers in the NBA at the moment.
Dan: There aren’t very many large shot blockers in the NBA because the old-fashioned, traditional center is a dying, if not already buried, breed in the NBA. The centers in today’s league need touch, finesse and at least a decent mid-rage game or very good post moves, neither of which Drummond possesses. I really like Drummond and hope he succeeds, but at least Lamb faded late into games, whereas Drummond would fade away before the game even started. He has some focus issues and that is something that will really hurt him.
Tyler: Drummond’s focus issues may be related to his experience level, which will have to be worked out and will be worked out once he gets minutes on the floor. Drummond has a lot of potential with drive and desire to improve. One of Drummond’s other strong points is his rebounding ability. He averaged 7.6 rebounds per game last season for the blue and white.
Dan: I’d hate to bring this up, but the phrase “a lot of potential” when applied to a player 6’ 10’’ or over hasn’t historically had the best implications for NBA careers. For every Dwight Howard “physical freak with great rebounding,” there are five other Darko Milicic’s, Kwame Brown’s, Michael Olowokandi’s, Yi Jianlian’s or—sorry to bring it to this—Hasheem Thabeet’s. With Drummond, you just don’t know what you’re getting. With Lamb, you know what you’re getting, a guard to come off the bench, give you solid minutes and quality shots and not make mistakes. But with Drummond, he could be a beast, or he could tank. I see no in between.
Tyler: With Lamb you’re also getting a smaller player who could have trouble against larger defenders and attacking the rim. And do we really know what we’re getting with Lamb? His stats last season were not what they were during the 2010-2011 season. Part of this could be that he had to carry the team last season, which could be a weakness if Lamb does not have a solid supporting cast in Houston.
Dan: I don’t think support will be an issue for Lamb in Houston. The Rockets finished above .500 in a stacked division that boasted the Spurs, the Grizzlies and the Mavericks, not to mention, they finished in the top-10 in scoring. Lamb should have no problem finding players to share the rock with, there won’t be anywhere near the load on Lamb as there was this past year. It’s Drummond who will have issues with team production, the Pistons didn’t exactly look like the Detroit teams of old last year. They pretty much stunk.
Tyler: Last season the Pistons played like…well, the Pistons. But then again nobody expected them to raise a banner anyway. Drummond is entering a team in the middle of a rebuilding process. A team that is trying to work their way back up the ranks of the Eastern Conference. With the skills that Drummond already possess and the skills that he will work on, don’t expect this to be that last time we hear his name on ESPN.
Dan: Speaking of ESPN, I read a thing there that listed Drummond’s weaknesses and one of them mentioned his poor interior scoring. So he’s a big man who can’t score very well off of set plays in the paint? Sounds like a red flag to me. I’d rather not gamble, I’m going with the safer pick in Jeremy Lamb who can score points from the wing and has a good mid-range game. I don’t see him being a superstar, but I see him having a long-lasting and sustaining career in the NBA.