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Andre Drummond Vs. Anthony Davis In 2013-14

Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond
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 Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond

Dec 21, 2012; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond (1) during the fourth quarter against the Washington Wizards at The Palace. Pistons won 100-68. Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Some of the most cherished memories of the NBA are those associated with two greats pitted against each other in a do-or-die ballet of brains, brawn and bball. Not all got quite the stage Dr. J and Kareem did―even if they were over the hill and gassed from just picking up a basketball―but most of us clearly remember the Hakeem vs. Robinson, Jordan vs. Drexler, Bird vs. Magic, Wilt vs. Russell head-to-heads.

Though they might never develop the oncourt rivalry that the aforementioned did, Andre Drummond and Anthony Davis are envisioned to be the best big men of their generation. Workout regiments, skill sets, and upsides will largely determine that but it didn’t stop SBNation, for one, from putting Dre as 2017’s No.3 all-league player over the No.7-ranked Davis. So the countdown to a career showdown has begun.

But at SJN, we’re more interested in what’s at hand: the now, the somewhat verifiable, the things you can actually hold up in a conversation at your local drinking hole. And that’s the 2013-14 season. Both were drafted in 2012, are superbly skilled players, and are projected to have seasons that are going to blow the roof off your expectations. But also have different enough games and wholly different enough career scenarios to require a more detailed look at their year ahead.

It’s AD vs. AD. Who wins in 2013-14?

To start off, here are some details on the two, including stats from 2012-13.

Andre Jamal Drummond

Anthony Marshon Davis

Advantage

Number

1

23

Match

Nickname

Big Penguin

The Brow

SJN Nickname (Brow To The Man)

Have to give points to Drummond on the good humor but Davis wears his nickname like a medallion: Davis

Draft Pick

2012, 9th Overall

2012, 1st Overall

Draft slots rarely tell the true story, but can’t argue with #1: Davis

Born

August 10, 1993

March 11, 1993

Match

Attributes

6-10; 270 Pounds

6-10; 220 Pounds

Drummond, by far

From

Mount Vernon, NY

Chicago, IL

If you can survive Chitown you can survive anything: Davis

Team

Detroit Pistons

New Orleans Pelicans

Dre might be on a better team now but Davis might have a bigger spotlight in NOLA: Davis

⇓Per-36 Stats⇓


 


 


 

PPG

13.8

16.9

Davis

RPG

13.2

10.2

Dre

BLKPG

2.8

2.2

Dre

STLPG

1.7

1.5

Dre

AST

0.9

1.2

Davis

TOV

1.7

1.7

Match

PF

4.2

3.1

Davis

FG%

60.8

51.6

Dre

FT%

37.1

75.1

Davis, by a longshot (N.P.I)

⇓Advnd⇓


 


 


 

PER

21.6

21.7

Davis

ORtg

114

113

Dre

DRtg

99

104

Dre

TS%

57.8

55.9

Dre

USG%

17.2

21.8

Davis

WS/48

.172

.152

Dre

Judging off of these alone, Dre clearly is the victor, having won nine out of eighteen categories (no we didn’t count place of birth, nickname, or the like, those were just for kicks). Davis wasn’t too far off with seven nods (including Team since his role should provide him with a better recipe for success in the coming season). There were also two ties in the age and steals per game categories.

Over the long-term, Andre Drummond might prove to be a goliath too gifted, big, and explosive to handle―as his eye-popping rookie numbers show―but Davis upends him in one major area. And that’s team, as listed.

As mentioned in the table, Drummond might be on the better team now but that means he’ll have to share a bulk of his playmaking time with a host of other good players. The New Orleans roster is also improved, but alongside other youngsters, Davis will have a greater opportunity to dominate the ball and pursue his growth. His usage percentage (USG% at 21.8) already gives insight into what’s to come.

There’s also the issue of floor spacing.

Though different in approach, both ADs’ scoring comes mostly at the rim, as would be expected for players of their size and skill.

Shooting

Andre Drummond

Anthony Davis

Less Than 5 Ft. FG%

66.4

67.8

Less Than 5 Ft. % Of Total Attempts

88.0

52.8

5-9 Ft. FG%

25.0

45.2

5-9 Ft. & Of Total Attempts

8.0

12.4

Of course, Drummond seems to make his points only within a long lunge of the basket with Davis being able to play somewhat efficiently up to 12 ft. away. That’s room for concern for Drummond and Pistons fans alike.

This is what Detroit’s shot chart was last season.

Courtesy NBA.com

Courtesy NBA.com

Followed by Greg Monroe’s.

Courtesy NBA.com

Courtesy NBA.com

And, Josh Smith’s, a recent addition to their very padded frontcourt.

Courtesy NBA.com

Courtesy NBA.com

Finally, here’s the shot chart that belongs to Andre Drummond.

Courtesy NBA.com

Courtesy NBA.com

Notice a trend?

Andre, Greg, and Josh live within the paint, but most importantly, in or around the restricted area. They thrive in it. Even Josh Smith who tends to lob too many long jumpers for his own sanity (and ours).

Detroit, as a team, shot 6,658 field goals last season. 3,405 of them, or roughly 51.3% came from where A, G, and J make their bread and butter. If they had been on the same team last year they would have attempted 1,757 field goals from within eight feet, which shows up as the center circle at the top. That total would be attributed to 51.6% of the team’s shots within that range. All to three players. That, theoretically is a good thing, since they’re solidly effective from there―Andre made 64.15% of his shots, Greg, 53.44% of his shots, and, Josh, 62.65%―but on the actual hardwood you run into major trouble. Teams are going to pack up the paint, especially if there are not enough shooters on the team to draw defenders to the perimeter.

The Pistons brought in Chauncey Billups and Brandon Jennings to deal with this concern but they’re not as deadly as you’d like from deep. They can be good-to-great facilitators but that might not mean their bigs will be able to do much with the ball once inside the paint since they’ll still have to share a limited dining table from which to feast on dunks, hooks, and alley oops. Smith is a great passer for his size but Monroe and Drummond certainly have room to improve on that front which only worsens the situation.

Anthony Davis, by comparison, has more freedom to work within a more open-ended New Orleans system. He has a good amount of shooters and above average passers to make his life a little easier. Plus, his horizons will only expand as he’s showed off a polished jumper from 14 feet out.

For these reasons, at least when it concerns the 2013-14 season, it will be the Year of the Brow.

(All stats courtesy of NBA.com and Basketball-Reference.com)

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