A Loyal Reader gets a hat-tip for sending me a note about his concerns following the second Raps-Pistons pre-season game. He was impressed with the play of the Pistons’ Andre Drummond, and dismayed at the prominent invisibility of Terrence Ross. Drummond was selected as the next player after Ross in this summer’s draft – did the Raptors pick the right guy? I propose to compare in progress the rookie seasons of these young men. I’m going to post my thoughts after 22 games, after 45, and at season’s end. If we’re lucky, these two will both stand out, and we’ll be adding Rookie of the Year speculation to the posts.
Let’s set the stage properly. Prior to the start of last year’s college season, several draft gurus had Drummond ahead of Anthony Davis as the #1 overall (Ross was never in that conversation). Many teams reputedly stepped away from considering Drummond because of his…um… susceptibility towards a serious affliction known to basketball people as knucklehead-itis. Dwane Casey fell in love with Ross’s scoring prowess at his pre-draft workout, and given Coach’s aversion to perceived troublemakers (cf., Johnson, James & Bayless, Jerryd) it was no surprise the Raps passed on Drummond.
Given that Ross is a mid-sized, outside shooting wing player, and Drummond is a giant rim-protecting centre, I might be accused of comparing apples & trucks. I don’t agree, largely because we can brush lightly over raw statistics & consider each player’s impact on his team, his MPG, whether his coach and the fans have been won over by hustle & charisma, analysts’ comments, & the like.
As of this writing, Drummond would appear to be ahead of our man by some distance. Andre already has a double-double (19 & 10 against Bucks – no cheapie) under his belt in preseason, and the buzz is growing. Terrence has been beset by nagging problems like a sore knee and “flu-like symptoms” and has been held out of several games. Can Terrence catch up? Will Andre let early success go to his head? We’ll be watching.
In closing, if you like this idea, let me know who else (Austin Rivers?) we might try this informal comparison with.
Brian Boake is a staff writer for Raptors Rapture. “Like” Raptors Rapture on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @RaptorsRapture for all the latest news and updates about the best damn NBA team from Canada.