Sunday, April 14 2024

Chicago Bulls center Andre Drummond recorded his 45th career NBA game with at least 20 points and 20 rebounds in Tuesday night’s 118-113 win over the Atlanta Hawks. No other active player has more than 16.

Drummond leads Kevin Love (16), Karl-Anthony Towns (12), Clint Capela (11), Nikola Jokic (11), DeAndre Jordan (10), Anthony Davis (10), Rudy Gobert (9), Nikola Vucevic (8), and Giannis Antetokounmpo (8).

According to multiple NBA betting sites, the Bulls hold 23rd-ranked odds to win this season’s championship. Sportsbooks are showing better odds for the New York Knicks, Atlanta Hawks, and Indiana Pacers.

In Chicago’s win over Atlanta, the 6-foot-11 big man notched season highs of 24 points and 25 rebounds, along with one assist, three steals, and two blocks in 39 minutes as a starter.

Drummond, 30, shot 11-of-13 (84.6%) from the floor and drained both free throws. It was the most rebounds by a Bulls player since Ben Wallace (27 vs. Milwaukee Bucks on Dec. 15, 2006).

Plus, it was his first start of the season and first start since the Brooklyn Nets’ 116-112 first-round loss to the Boston Celtics in Game 4 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs. This was his first regular-season start since Brooklyn’s 134-126 regular-season finale loss against the Pacers on April 10, 2022.

Chicago Bulls’ Andre Drummond replaced Nikola Vucevic (left groin), made first start since the 2022 NBA Playoffs

Bulls coach Billy Donovan gave Drummond the starting role after Vucevic was downgraded to out due to bruised muscles around his left hip and groin. It was also Chicago’s ninth win in the last 13 games with Zach LaVine sidelined because of inflammation in his right foot.

“I still believe I’m a starter in this league,” Drummond said. “But the position I’m in now, I take it and play to the best of my ability. … My mentality is I’m not a backup.”

Following the win over Atlanta, he went into the stands to hug his mother. “She’s my biggest supporter,” Drummond said. “She’s been there since day one, and she’s always telling me I can do it.”

The last time he grabbed 25 rebounds in a single game was during the Philadelphia 76ers’ 103-96 loss to the Knicks on Nov. 8, 2021. His 24 points Tuesday were the most points he’s scored in a game since posting 27 in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 127-115 win over the Utah Jazz on April 17, 2021.

Through 32 games this season, Drummond is averaging 6.8 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.2 steals, and 14.3 minutes per game. The 12-year veteran is shooting 54.1% from the field and a career-best 61.6% at the foul line as well.

Drummond is definitely making his case for increased minutes. The UConn product hasn’t averaged over 20 minutes per game in a season since 2020-21. With the Bulls, they have nothing to lose at this point.

Source: Basketball Insider

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