Home Basketball Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond ‘excited’ about teaming up with Blake Griffin

Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond ‘excited’ about teaming up with Blake Griffin

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DETROIT — Pistons All-Star center Andre Drummond is looking forward to all the possibilities that could transpire with new arrival Blake Griffin in tow.

“I’m excited,” Drummond said after scoring 21 points and grabbing 22 rebounds in a win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night. “It’s a new chapter. We’ve got three new guys coming in, so it’s something to really look forward to. Obviously, Blake is a hell of a player, a great passer, as well too, so I’m looking forward to building this new empire with him.”

Drummond, like many within the Pistons organization, says he believes the pair will provide some offensive fireworks over time. The freshly minted All-Star had an intriguing take while discussing a comparison between DeAndre Jordan, Griffin’s old tag-team partner down on the blocks with the LA Clippers.

“I think I got a little more to my game than DeAndre does offensively,” Drummond said. “But I think it’s going to be a lot more fun.”

Detroit coach Stan Van Gundy echoed those sentiments after the victory, saying his assistant coaches believe the short-handed team got a big boost of adrenaline in Tuesday’s contest after the reality of acquiring Griffin on Monday night finally sunk in, and that the Pistons are eager to see how he pairs with Drummond on the floor.

“Look, I’m not an ecstatic person,” Van Gundy said before the game. “But I’m about as excited as you can be I guess for me in the middle of the season on an eight-game losing streak.”

Veteran Pistons forward Anthony Tolliver admitted being surprised that the deal, which sent Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley, Boban Marjanovic and some other assets to the Clippers, actually went down.

“I was shocked,” Tolliver said of the Pistons acquiring Griffin. “Definitely shocked … when you’re not playing well as a team sometimes things happen, there’s going to be trades made and stuff like that. But to get a guy of that caliber, I’m sure the front office was like, ‘Hey, let’s take this risk and see what happens.’ “

Young forward Stanley Johnson took advantage of the circumstances Tuesday, scoring a career-high 26 points, all while showing flashes of the talent the Pistons still believe can thrive once Griffin and injured Pistons point guard Reggie Jackson come into the picture together.

“I’m a huge fan of Blake Griffin,” Johnson said. “That’s one of the guys I like, at like, ‘Oh, this guy’s really, really, really, really good.’ I think our stance should be let’s play around him. He’s a guy who I think is a one-in-a-million athlete. You have him paired with another one-in-a-million athlete with Andre. And now it’s like let’s use that [advantage] and now we’ll figure how to [adjust] when you figure out the deal with those two people. You’ll never not have them in the game together. You got two of them.

“What he did — you get Reggie back, I don’t know how it’s going to come out, but you got Reggie. You got Reggie, you got Blake, you got [Tolliver], you got a lot of good pieces around a guy who I believe can lead a team to that point. [Griffin has] done it, so a fresh start for him and I think the sky’s the limit for us.”

The Pistons also received forward Brice Johnson and center Willie Reed from the Clippers in Monday’s trade.

Drummond said he and Griffin have developed a friendship over the past few years as they trained in Los Angeles in the offseason. They also share representation in agent Jeff Schwartz.

“I know Blake very well,” Drummond said. “I talked to him immediately after the trade. He’s excited to be here, excited to play with us. Obviously when Reggie gets back, he’s excited to play with him too.”



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