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Jan 29, 2018

Making the Case For Andre Drummond

The NBA All-Star rosters were announced last week, and as is custom in the sports world, we need to nitpick the selections. These all-star debates are as old as time, no matter who gets selected there will always be snubs to argue about. Some notable snubs being discussed this year include Nikola Jokic, Chris Paul, Kemba Walker, Ben Simmons and Lou Williams. All of these players I think you could make a decent case for, but there is one guy who stands out above all the other snubs. Andre Drummond. When vouching for a guy who missed the cut, I believe it is necessary to point out an All-Star who he should replace. It’s easy to spout off numbers and stats to bolster a player’s case, but if you can’t identify an All-Star he should replace then it really does not hold much ground. So for Andre Drummond, I will be making the case as to why he should be an All-Star over Al Horford. Now, because this is a fantasy sports website I will be basing my case primarily off of pure stats and from a fantasy perspective. I do understand that there are a lot of intangibles that make a player an all-star, but I’ll be staying away from those.

To start off, let me make it clear I think Al Horford has had a great first half. The Celtics are a stellar 35-15 and sit atop the East. This is especially impressive without Gordan Hayward. However, I believe when you are discussing All-Stars, the team’s record should be taken with a grain of salt. It should be considered, but shouldn’t be a major factor. After all, Horford does have the benefit of sharing the court with Kyrie Irving every night. When diving into the stats, Horford’s 13.4 points and 7.9 rebounds just don’t scream all-star. In fact, his points per game average is his lowest mark in the last six years, and his rebounds per game ranks 27th in the NBA. Drummond, on the other hand, is averaging close to 15 points per game and his 15.3 rebounds per game leads the NBA. Drummond has improved in the assists department this year, averaging nearly four a game, up from his previous career average of 0.7. But the area in which Drummond has most greatly improved this year is at the free throw line. Drummond currently has a .631 free throw percentage, and while that is not great, it is a far cry from his sub .400 career average, and certainly not low enough to keep him out of the All-Star game. 

Being that Draftboard is a fantasy sports website let’s look at their fantasy impacts this year. Horford is averaging 29.8 fantasy points this year, while Drummond sits almost 10 points better at 39.2. In addition to that, Drummond has topped 50 points 15 times this year (14 if we are focusing on games before the selection was made), whereas Horford has topped 50 only once. Drummond clearly has big game abilities. There have been only 16 games this year in which a player has 20 points and 20 rebounds, Drummond has had four of those games. Demarcus Cousins and Dwight Howard are the only two other players with multiple such games this season, Cousins has five and Howard has two.

When you boil it all down Drummond and Horford are comparable in points, assists, steals, blocks, and turnovers. But when it comes to rebounds, Drummond averages nearly twice as many. And when we are talking about NBA centers that is a pretty important stat to be dominant in. Drummond has the big game ability that Horford lacks, and the NBA All-star game is the epitome of a big game. The way I see it, with all else being equal, if the teams they played for were swapped Drummond would be a shoe-in. That has to be a little bit disappointing for Drummond, and as he suggested in a tweet, maybe he needs to start doing backflips to start getting noticed. I don’t know how well that strategy would work, but I do think it is clear that the big man deserves a little bit more love than he is currently receiving.

Dan Quinn