The stat line at the end of Andre Drummond’s first full game for the Los Angeles Lakers offered a pretty good look at what the 6-10 big man can provide for his new team.
Drummond finished with 15 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and two steals in 27 minutes of work for Los Angeles in their 110-104 loss to the Miami Heat on Thursday.
In his Lakers’ debut, Drummond only played 14 minutes and had to leave the game, losing a toe nail on his right big toe when Milwaukee’s Brook Lopez stepped on him in the first half.
Drummond missed three games to let the injury heal, so Thursday’s game against Miami was his first full game with the Lakers.
“This being my first real game I’ve played, it felt good being out there,” Drummond said. “I’m still trying to figure the guys out. I caught myself running into people every now and again trying to make the right play to get people open. But the first game is out the way. I’ve got some film to watch to see where guys should be on the floor, and I think it’s going to be fun. Just getting guys back healthy and we’ll be fine.”
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel liked what he saw from Drummond and expects his performance to improve as he gets more acclimated with the rest of the team.
“Drummond was great,” Vogel said. “He competed, and he does what he does. … He’s a great screener and has active hands defensively. Obviously, it’s game one and there’s a lot to learn still within our system on both sides of the ball, learning his teammates. But a good, sort of first game. It’s technically his second game, but first full game.”
Davis said he’s wearing No. 2 for the Lakers because his two favorite numbers are taken by Anthony Davis (No. 3) and Kyle Kuzma (No. 0), so he landed in the middle with No. 2.
The goal for the Lakers is to have Drummond dialed in with his role and how he will fit in once LeBron James (high, right-ankle sprain) and Anthony Davis (right calf strain) return from injury.
So, the next few weeks of games will be a trial-and-error process for the Lakers to see what works and doesn’t work for Drummond on both ends of the floor.
Drummond said he’s working on getting better finding his teammates on offense out of the post through film work, knowing where guys want the ball and reading the play.
“We just have to control what we can control,” Drummond said, when asked about James and Davis working their way back. “Those guys are out now. We have to work with the guys that are here, and they are more than capable of helping us get wins. Those guys are doing whatever they can to get back as fast as possible. But the guys that are playing are playing to the best of their ability and playing incredible. They’re doing a great job of holding it down.”