I just read an interesting article comparing Dwight Howard from his rookie season and Andre Drummond's rookie season to this point. It's pretty compelling stuff.
Back before the regular season began, I posted an article that discussed how Andre Drummond’s play as a rookie might compare to how Dwight Howard performed in his first season (2004-05). At that point all we had to go on for comparisons was Drummond’s preseason play (9 points and 5.9 rebounds in 16.5 minutes per game). While he was impressive, we couldn’t be confident about how well any of those numbers would translate into the regular season. But for his first 17 games (Oct. – Nov.) Drummond’s playing time was about the same (17 mpg), and he posted slightly over 6 points and 6 boards an outing.
Before we look at his play in December, let’s pause to compare Drummond’s early stats to Dwight Howard’s performance. Howard became the first player in NBA history to come directly from high school and start all 82 games of his rookie year. He’s also the youngest player to ever average a double-double (12 points and 10 rebounds). He achieved those marks logging 32.6 minutes per game. That level of playing time is very unusual for such a young big man. Of all the 19 year old rookie bigs who have been top 10 picks since 2001, the only ones who have averaged over 30 mpg are Howard, Chris Bosh and Anthony Davis.
For 2004-05, Howard’s Per36 rookie numbers were 13.2 points and 11.1 rebounds. By comparison, Drummond’s Per36 numbers through November were 12.8 points and 12.7 rebounds. So Andre was already more productive per minute than Howard. Still, I think most of us would agree that we can’t project that Per36 stats will always hold up with more playing time. The only sure test is to see how a player actually produces when their playing time increases.
Fortunately, we have seen increased playing time for Drummond in December. He averaged 22 minutes per game for the month. While all of us would like to see him play even more, this is a significant increase of 5 mpg over his first month. So how has his productivity held up with the increased playing time? It’s gone up! For December, Drummond’s Per36 averages were 13 points and 13.5 caroms! Given that his actual production for December was over 8 points and 8 boards per game, it’s not unreasonable to think that he can start averaging a double-double if his playing time gets up to 27-28 minutes per game.
It’s unlikely that Drummond will finish the season with Howard’s 12 & 10 averages, because he’d have to average 15 & 12 from here on out. It’s doubtful that he’ll get enough playing time or offensive touches to produce points at that level. The rebounding total is more within his reach, because Drummond has been more effective on the glass than Howard was as a rookie.
In my preseason post, I looked at how consistently Howard played for the Magic in 2004-05 by separating out his 16 best performances from his 16 worst ones. Here is how those games compare with his overall stats:
Games Minutes Rebounds Reb./Per36 Points Pts./Per36
All 82 32.6 10.0 11.1 12.0 13.2
Best 16 36.1 14.2 14.2 18.9 18.8
Worst 16 30.0 6.4 7.7 6.4 7.7
Best/Worst Diff. -6.1 -7.8 -6.5 -12.5 -11.1
Now let’s do the same with Drummond’s play to date – dividing his first 33 games into the top 16 and the bottom 16 (I’ve intentionally omitted his first game in which he played only 6 minutes), and comparing them with his overall stats:
Games Minutes Rebounds Reb./Per36 Points Pts./Per36
All 33 19.5 7.1 13.1 7.0 13.0
Best 16 23.0 9.7 15.2 9.9 15.5
Worst 16 16.8 4.8 10.3 4.5 9.6
Best/Worst Diff. -6.2 -4.9 -4.9 -5.4 -5.9
What stands out to me is that playing time is what mostly separates Drummond’s "best" performances from his "worst." Per36, his best averages are 15.2 rebounds and 15.5 points. That production is certainly close to Howard’s bests of 18.8 and 14.2. But when you compare the Per36 averages for their worst 16 games, Drummond remains at a respectable level of 10.3 boards and 9.6 points. Whereas Howard’s averages dip to 7.7 rebounds and 7.7 points.
The biggest edge in production for Drummond is in rebounding. Since this was the area we were most concerned about going into the season, Pistons fans have to be especially encouraged. Again comparing their rookie years, Howard’s Total Rebound Percentage was 17.3%; Drummond’s is 20.7%. When we compare their Offensive Rating, Howard’s was 111; Drummond is at 115. Defensive Rating? Howard’s was 104; Drummond is 98. For Win Shares/48, Howard was .131; Drummond is at .185.
Based on their statistical production, I think a strong argument can be made that Andre Drummond is a better player than Dwight Howard was as a rookie. If the Pistons did not already have an accomplished starting center in Monroe, Drummond would certainly be starting. If he’d been selected by any of the teams that drafted prior to the Pistons nabbed him at #9, Drummond would probably already be their starting center. Like it or not, we Pistons fans will have to be patient waiting for the inevitable. But what has become increasingly clear is that when it comes to the original hype that Andre Drummond was a Dwight Howard-like talent, he IS as good (if not better) than advertised.
Damn my dude, you jumped the gun all the way lol
Drummond is good has great potential, but c'mon son.
It wasn't his idea. It was an article he read, and posted because he thought it was interesting.
The negs are coming
I gave you a thumbs up just so that the negging doesn't get too much. :/
I hear you, but you and I know that there is a difference between playing better and being better. Also we're all mad with what Dwight did, jut as we are happy that a guy like Drummond is growing, but you are pulling the trigger to early. I see Drummond as already better than Deandre Jordan, but Dwight is still quite a way away. If Dwight keeps playing worse and bringing the record down, I'd give Andre atleast 3-4 years before legitimately putting him above Dwight.
they are both some momma's boy cry babies. drummond is having a good rookie season so far no doubt. people on here are all on his nutsack though. this is the same guy that didn't even bother to show up to play at uconn last year. calhoun was one of the best coaches ever and he didn't even take advantage. he just pouted over the one and done rule. if the pistons are irrelevant in a few years and he is still on the team don't be surprised if he is a quitter. drummond has some of the most physical gifts in the league so he should be doing this good. he will never be great because of his hard play. he has no heart. and lets not even get into the dwightmere situation. piece of $h1+ dwight. most overrated big to ever play the game.
Yeah, his numbers definitely should have been better because his head coach was totally not there for over half of the season, and was barely at practice. Don't forget that his two main passers were Shabazz Napier and Jeremy Lamb. They are really, and I mean REALLY, great passers. Do you sense the sarcasm?
he was fat and out of shape slob in college. way to try justifying something by making a lame passer excuse. don't bring up the fact that both players you mentioned are shooters. if anything that should have made the paint easier for him. there are teams with worse passers. way to give yourself a thumbs up and jump on the drummond bandwagon. drummond is better than last year but i still see him quitting if he's not on a winner.
And there's certainly a chance that Drummond will become better than Dwight.
But I hate provocative titles that purport to prove something the related content doesn't support--that at present, Drummond is better than Dwight.
I rarely neg, but I negged this.
I had to log in just to neg you OP
I think Dwight Howard is quickly becoming the most UNDERrated player in the league...lol
Averaging 18 and 12, still not 100%, and in a flawed system...
Drummond has potential for sure but people should really calm down about him...he still has a long way to go...
lakers score a lot of points on average and give up a lot of points on average. he averages that much because when the lakers play there are more possessions total during those games giving him more chances to pack his stats. he is overrated if anything. he has never played a true center with skills unless you want to count someone when their career is almost over anyways like shaq.
Howard took a pretty crappy Magic team to the finals...I don't think any other big in the league could do that..
First of all, the source would make one feel very dubious to begin with and the conclusion is half-baked, no closure whatsoever. Reading this feels very pointless when the title is along the lines of "Drummond is better than Howard" when actually the message is "Drummond is on Howard's level or maybe better if given the chance" that's not a great conclusion despite the bold billing.
I also really dislike how the author neglected the competition that Howard had to face, Kevin Garnett, Yao Ming, Tim Duncan, Shaquille O'Neal, Dirk Nowitzki, Ben Wallace, Pau Gasol, Elton Brand, hell guys like Brad Miller, Mehmet Okur, Alonzo Mourning, Zydrunas Ilgauskas were all tough opponents. Dwight, fresh out of high school had to face a strong opponent almost every game not to mention countless double teams.
Drummond is facing second unit guys and a weaker standard of big men, no fault of his own but the author just doesn't acknowledge the competition (even a couple of these great names would suffice) and looks blindly towards stats just to establish the interllectual high-ground by attempting to make his opinion sound valid.
Talk about insulting our intelligence.
i like the comparisons, but i don't think he is better yet. he could be very soon though, and much better soon. i love drummonds game and potential. i think his potential, from what he has done as a rookie and the surprise its brought most people could be better than andrew wiggins. i mean since he is a big man and there nothing what they were in the 90s.
i wouldnt call that 09 magic team a "crappy" team... r u serious?
Sorry, I should have said average...
I just wouldn't consider Jameer Nelson, Courtney Lee, Turkoglu, Lewis, and Pietrus the core that's destined for the NBA finals...just my opinion. If we give Lebron props for taking his Cleveland teams to the finals, I think Dwight deserves his...
you had jameer nelson playing at the highest level of his career granting him an all star birth.... turkoglu was playing out of his mind..... rashard lewis was giving you 18 points a game...then when nelson got hurt... rafer alston picked up his play.. and played really well... courtney lee overachieved as a rookie.... not to mention having stan van gundy as ur coach.... dwight played great those playoffs to... but its not true to say that his team around him was average
I just feel like them playing like that was more because of Howard, just like all players look better next to stars...
I mean look at how all of them are playing now...
yeah i get what ur saying.... idk... i felt he had a good cast... not great or anything... playing in the east helps to
Have no problem what so ever with this post. Drummond is like 19, and in H.S. had potential on par with Dwight's, and all the article provides is a stat supported argument that Drummond has been more effective/better as a rooke than Dwight. Nothing on here says Drummond is better than Dwight at his peak, just that Drummond at 19 is on par with Dwight at 19. I believe Drummond has probably the most potential of any player from that draft. Davis has been good, but what's his ceiling? Lillard is already 23, and then who are we talking about? MKG? Beal? Terrance Ross? Solid players, but Drummond's potential trumps all of them, and the work he's put in Detroit shows he's dedicated to getting better, since he's already miles ahead of where he was a year ago.
I think the post was thought out and a good read. I think the title was misleading and made many people not read it. Haha. It is an interesting piece. I think it goes to show the potential of Andre Drummond. That he could one day be someone that scores 20+ pulls down 12+ rebounds.
For everyone who can't read you do realize I am not saying this I simply posted an article that I thought was interesting. As for the title of the post I just made it "Andre Drummond is better than Dwight Howard" so everyone would click on the post. Obviously Dwight Howard is better than Drummond. The article that is posted is making an argument that Drummond's rookie season is comparable to Dwight Howard's and the argument can be made that Drummond is having a better rookie season then Dwight had.
For one, they are playing different roles as rookies. Dwight Howard was starting and Drummond is coming off of the bench. Why is this significant? Because quite often, Drummond is going up against second unit players as opposed to being matched-up with a fresh starting center at the start of the first and the third. While analytically Drummond may have more impressive numbers (higher PER, lower defensive rating, having his worst games being better than Dwight's), their is definitely room for error when one factors in the fact that Dwight was playing more minutes and in this role.
What I think needs to be considered as well is the fact that once Andre does start playing increased minutes, his efficiency could indeed go down quite a bit. This is why I think the Pistons have been bringing him along slowly, raising his confidence, getting him real game experience rather than throwing him to the sharks. When faced with more experienced big men, Drummond has at times looked out of place. I remember Dwight Howard going 12-14 against Detroit earlier this year. While that was not all Andre's fault, he was not exactly stopping him when they were matched-up.
So, while an argument can be made that Drummond is having a more productive rookie year, it does not necessarily mean people have to agree that he is ahead of where Howard was. Dwight even shot 67% from the FT line as a rookie and his averaging a double-double in actual minutes as opposed to per 36 was incredibly impressive. This was a 19-year old kid going up against starting centers and finishing 5th in the league in total rebounds, 8th in rpg. Though it seems Drummond's statistics might be ahead of Dwight's rookie season if he were given the same amount of minutes, realize their could be a major change if he were actually playing the same amount of time Dwight did as opposed to assuming his production increases according to what he does in his 20 minutes per game off of the bench. Think that you have to understand why some people may not buy into Drummond being ahead of Dwight at this stage, even with some better analytical statistics as a rookie.
I understand that people can make the argument that Dwight was the starter from day 1 and played against starters. My counter to that is can you honestly say Drummond's numbers would be dramatically worse if he were logging 30+ minutes per game as a stater? He can only make the most of the minutes he's given. It's not unreasonable to say Drummond's numbers can translate if he were a starter getting starters minutes. I believe if he were given starter minutes his number would be very similar to Dwight from his rookie season. Drummond has shown nothing since being in the NBA to prove otherwise. He can rebound, play defense, block shots, and dunk anything thrown to him. He is not a good free throw shooter and still has a lot to learn but he can still play and has proven that. Based on what I have seen with my own eyes Drummond is just as good as Dwight from his rookie season.