Thursday, January 20 2022

Philadelphia 76ers big man Andre Drummond is a guy who brings a lot to this team off the bench. He is a guy who provides a ton of energy, he is an excellent rebounder, and he has shown off his ability to pass the ball from the center spot.

In Monday’s win over the Portland Trail Blazers, Drummond started in place of Joel Embiid, he had seven assists to go along with his 14 points and 15 rebounds. On top of that, he had zero assists in the game and that is something that pleases coach Doc Rivers.

“He’s an excellent passer,” Rivers smiled. “He likes to gamble with his passing quite a bit. That’s something that we are talking about, but he had zero turnovers tonight so that was good.”

Rivers is right when he says that Drummond can be a little adventurous with his passing, but he is also averaging 4.8 assists per 36 minutes to begin the season. That type of skill for a big man off the bench will give the Sixers a boost all season long.

“That’s just something that has been a part of my game my whole career,” said Drummond. “They are using me the right way here and it’s something that I am very good at. I find guys because the defense pulls in when I do roll and I roll hard so I’m able to make that next pass to the shooters.”

It does help that Drummond has guys like Seth Curry, Shake Milton, Danny Green, and Georges Niang to pass to. Those guys are proven shooters in this league and it is something that will help both him and the Sixers later in the future.

The passing from Drummond also helped the Sixers come up with 34 assists in the win. They took advantage of an aggressive Portland defensive scheme and they were able to move the ball quickly to find success on the offensive end.

“Watching film on them the night before and then going through walkthroughs, just knowing how they played, I knew tonight (Monday) was going to be a heavy assist night for me because they are a team that’s pulling very hard and they trap our ball handlers too,” Drummond explained. “I was able to make that next play.”

That preparation at morning shootaround did enough to help set the tone for the Sixers throughout the day and into the game. Rivers made sure his team was prepared for a Blazers defense that showed themselves on ball screens to try and force turnovers.

“It was good. We talked about it this morning (Monday),” said Rivers. “We did a drill this morning to work against teams that show, nobody shows anymore, and how to counteract that, how to deal with it, and I thought it paid dividends.”

This post originally appeared on Sixers Wire! Follow us on Facebook!


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