In Saturday’s matchup against the Pistons, Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan was in a quandary: stay with Andre Drummond or flash out to help defend Reggie Jackson.

The dilemma is nothing new, as Jackson and Drummond have teamed to form one of the best pick-and-roll combinations in the league over the past couple years. What is new is a subtle wrinkle in which Drummond can work out of that same action and dribble to the rim for a high-percentage shot.

Coach Stan Van Gundy calls Drummond’s new role a “hub,” through which the Pistons operate more this season. Along with the regular screen-and-roll, Drummond is doing more to keep defenses guessing. It was on full display in the two improbable wins, over the previously unbeaten Los Angeles Clippers and at the defending-champion Golden State Warriors.

“He’s just a physical force and when he rolls to the rim, it’s really hard to stop that,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “Whether he’s catching a lob or catching a ball in the middle of the paint, he’s really strong and powerful, so you have to commit a lot of attention to him — and that opens up the whole floor.”


With Drummond as the new hub, Jackson is playing less of a role as well, with more motion to get Tobias Harris and Avery Bradley more looks.

So far, it’s working, as the Pistons have started 5-2, with two signature road wins to reflect on.