If there's one thing that's clearly evident from the Pistons' current woes, it's that Andre Drummond's absence has affected this team in ways nobody could foresee.
In their current six-game losing streak, their defense has been sieve-like, giving up an average of 106 points. The faces on the floor are of confusion, as if every time someone gets beat for an uncontested layup, they're looking around like someone is supposed to be behind them to help.
Whether they realize it or not, it seems like they're looking for Drummond, the 7-foot man-child who has displayed more of his clothing chops than defensive prowess since early February.
It appears to be a lack of trust or confidence among players on the defensive end, that they're not completely sure the next guy has their back.
"I wouldn't say a lack of trust, but we have to be better at it," said Greg Monroe, who at center is the last line of defense. "Our rotations have to get better, that's the thing we have problems with the most. We make the first rotation, it's more so the second rotation guys have to, we have to make a better effort at."
More and more, it seems as if the downplaying of Drummond's presence from Pistons coach Lawrence Frank was a motivational ploy, some kind of Jedi mind trick used to prevent the players from using it as a crutch. More and more, it feels like Drummond is perhaps the best player on this roster. At worst, he's second behind Monroe.
"Defensively, he adds a lot to us. I don't think our struggles have been because he's gone," Monroe said. "He got us a lot of easy buckets, protected the rim very well for us. Not having him definitely put us at a disadvantage."
Andre Drummond's absence leaves Pistons' defense on the ropes
Detroit News | Mar 14