Andre Drummond is unquestionably the Pistons’ best player. He led the league in rebounding last season with an average of 14.8 per game, and made the All-Star team for the first time in his budding four-year career.
But head coach Stan Van Gundy made it clear Wednesday that he’s not afraid to bench anyone if he feels the effort isn’t there.
Detroit fell behind by 21 points in the third quarter to an unexpectedly scrappy Nets team, and Drummond was getting outplayed significantly by Brooklyn’s Brook Lopez. Drummond exited the game a little over seven minutes into the third, and remained on the bench until the final buzzer sounded in a 109-101 Pistons loss.
“We gave him the first half and the first seven minutes in the second half, and he was just, in my opinion, bringing absolutely nothing to the game,” Van Gundy said, via the Detroit Free Press. “I don’t know if he was tired or what the deal was, but he didn’t bring any energy to the game.”
Aaron Baynes and Jon Leuer — neither household names, nor the max-contract players that Drummond is — shared the remainder of what usually would have been Drummond’s on-court minutes.