When the nets return from the All-Star break, Andre Drummond will have all the playing time he can afford. Maybe more than he can handle.
What that means for Nick Claxton remains to be seen.
The Nets knocked Drummond off the 76ers’ bench in a Ben Simmons-James Harden deal and put the veteran center into the midst of an accelerating cardio regimen to make him quick to play the starting minutes.
Drummond said he was “tired” of how he felt since coming to Brooklyn. “Coming from a different situation, coming off the bench and playing for limited minutes, to the minutes I used to play, just getting myself back into playing shape again.
“So from the moment I get here, I’m fine in the morning and recovering after the match. So by the time [All-Star] The break is over, I have to be back to normal again, just get back to that speed and that situation again. “
Before the trade, Drummond had a career average of 18.4 minutes as Joel Embiid’s reserve, but still managed to rack up 8.8 rebounds per game. He saw that he hit as many as 12.3 boards in 21.7 minutes during his first three online matches.
Given Brooklyn’s needs on the glass, expect to see playtime rising.
“The most important thing is that we struggled to get the ball back, and he is a rebound player by nature,” said Steve Nash. “He’s also huge who can protect the edge. He’s good defensively and can be an offensive presence; he’s good at getting into moves, rolling, and playing over the edge.
“He fills the needs that our group is looking for and we are excited for him to continue to feel more comfortable in the way we play and also get really fit. He will play more minutes for us in terms of the way we expect things, so he is used to that. [backing up Embiid]But we’re asking him to play more.”
Make that need him to play more, #1 in a crowded central platoon of five men.
Netting was 18th in overall rebounding percentage (49.5) through Feb. 13, and only 27th in defensive rebounding (70.6). But since Drummond debuted they have placed sixth in both categories.
“Before shooting, I conditioning on the treadmill or jogging or riding a bike. After the matches I will be on the treadmill again,” Drummond, the suspended free agent, said. that.”
Drummond has started all three matches since his arrival, while LaMarcus Aldridge averaged over 23.1 minutes.
That had only 8.7 minutes left for the Blake Griffin fade, which was used sparingly to raise the bench or in a rare large two-sided alignment. Day’Ron Sharpe fell out of the rotation – scoring a total of three minutes – and Claxton was a complete persona non grata.
The Nets have spent most of the season taking calls from Claxton, with teams seeing the injury-prone youngster as a low buying candidate.
He hasn’t played since injuring his hamstring on February 4 in Utah, and he’s missed the last seven straight games—the last three as a healthy DNP.
With so much interest — ESPN reported that the Nets nearly flew him to Toronto for a first-round pick — Claxton admitted that the time before the deadline was a “death train”. Shortly thereafter, he took to Instagram to post a photo of Harden that has since circulated with a heart.
Claxton often worked with Harden and joined him in Houston over the summer. A potential restricted free agent, he shot .661 with Harden and only .581 without it according to Elias Sports Bureau.
“We’ll see how this all ends. We’ve had this center by committee for some time now,” said Nash. “Andre brings us a completely different look at the center with his physique, and natural bounce.”