Yes, the Los Angeles Lakers are the defending champions. Yes, they are still one of the top-four teams in the Western Conference. And thanks to a current two-game winning streak, they have posted six wins in their last 10 outings. On the flip side of the narrative, there are some concerns. Both LeBron James and Anthony Davis will be on the shelf with injuries over the next few weeks. And unlike last season, the frontcourt hasn’t been a strength for the Lakers this season. Andre Drummond can fix that.
The Los Angeles Lakers acquired Andre Drummond to bolster their frontcourt.
While the Lakers did not make any major moves at the trade deadline, they did attempt to bolster their frontcourt by acquiring Andre Drummond via the buyout market. Here are the three biggest observations from this move.
3. Andre Drummond does have some value for the Lakers
Drummond has career averages of 14.6 points and 13.8 rebounds per game. And in 25 games with the Cleveland Cavaliers this season, he put up 17.5 points, 13.5 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per contest. Simply put, Drummond is a big that can produce big numbers on any given night. Additionally, Drummond’s offensive rebounding numbers per outing (four) are higher than Marc Gasol’s total rebounding average per game (3.9). So, he will be a welcomed addition from a rebounding perspective.
2. Lakers will sacrifice spacing with Andre Drummond on the floor
As is the case with most things in life, there are two sides to every story, and this scenario is no exception. Although Drummond does bring a few positives to the table, there are also some limitations as well. From close range (0-3 feet), Drummond has converted 64.3% of his attempts during his career.
However, his efficiency drops considerably after that. In the 3-10 foot range, he is shooting 37.5%. And from 10-16 feet, that number dips to 28.1%, per Basketball-Reference. And according to CBS Sports’ Sam Quinn, his 51.9% field goal percentage is lower than every player currently on the Lakers’ roster that has attempted at least one shot in that area. Taking those numbers into consideration, floor spacing could be an issue when Drummond is on the floor.
1. The Lakers should still be in the mix for a postseason berth
As it was previously mentioned, the Lakers have already fallen two spots in the standings with their two stars out of the rotation. And as expected, the offense hasn’t looked pretty at times. However, the Lakers still have the second-best scoring defense in the league, giving up 106 points per contest. On top of that, the Lakers are still the top defensive team in the league.
For obvious reasons, it isn’t ideal for any team to be without its top two scorers. This especially holds true considering the Lakers don’t have an easy schedule the rest of the way. At the same token, they are getting it done from a defensive standpoint, and the addition of Drummond should add some depth to their frontcourt. Even more important, being that health is of the utmost importance, James and Davis should be well-rested upon their return, which bodes well for a Lakers’ squad seeking to win its 18th championship.
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