If Andre Drummond keeps progressing at the rate he’s going, then Philadelphia 76ers coach Brett Brown—a first-year coach at his wit’s end — won’t be the only one to employ the “Hack-a-Dre” strategy…and Drummond will have to make them pay for it. What Drummond poignantly called a “slap in the face” turns to 10 seconds of torture and uncertainty for Pistons fans and teammates, the time Drummond has to step to the free-throw line and conquer what appears to be his greatest weakness. Assistant coach Rasheed Wallace yells “take your time” and his teammates say “10 seconds” but Drummond is on that line, all alone, with the world watching. He shook off the insult to put together his best game as a pro, helping the Pistons to a 115-100 win over the 76ers at the Palace Sunday, with 31 points, 19 rebounds, six steals and two blocks. Thaddeus Young scored 24 and Evan Turner 20 for the 76ers (6-12), who entered Sunday a half-game behind the Pistons. The strategy was employed midway through the third quarter and the Pistons cruising, up 20, before Drummond was intentionally fouled three consecutive times when the 76ers had the chance. He only made two of six and was removed (seven of 18 overall), but after Drummond stole an errant Lavoy Allen pass and got fouled the old-fashioned way, he made both free throws then shot a quick stare Brown’s way as the lead was pushed back to 18 and the 76ers called timeout. “He plays with a fire in the game, and he’s just a kid,” Pistons coach Maurice Cheeks said. “Anybody would react like that, play with a little bit of fire, a little bit more ‘something else’.” If the 20-year old giveth away on the freebees, he taketh away on the other end with six steals. During a stoppage, Cheeks pulled Drummond aside and as Drummond stared into the stands, he was all ears. His words? “This makes you a better player, you have to become a better foul shooter,” Cheeks said. “Because these are things that happen and get you taken out the game.” Strategically, it’s a good move considering Drummond was a 29-percent foul shooter entering Sunday’s game and the lead was cut to 12 after the third quarter, as it took a Pistons (7-10) team that hasn’t yet found a collective rhythm out of it Sunday.
Drummond's career game powers Pistons past Sixers, 115-100
Detroit News | Dec 2