“I’m excited,” Drummond said after scoring 21 points and grabbing 22 rebounds in a win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night. “It’s a new chapter. We’ve got three new guys coming in, so it’s something to really look forward to. Obviously, Blake is a hell of a player, a great passer, as well too, so I’m looking forward to building this new empire with him.”
Drummond, like many within the Pistons organization, believes the pair will provide some offensive fireworks over time. The freshly minted All-Star had an interesting take while discussing a comparison between DeAndre Jordan, Griffin’s old tag team partner down on the blocks with the LA Clippers.
“I think I got a little more to my game than DeAndre does offensively,” Drummond said. “But I think it’s going to be a lot more fun.”
Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy echoed those sentiments after the win, saying that his assistant coaches believe that their short-handed team got a big boost of adrenaline in Tuesday’s game after the reality of acquiring Griffin on Monday night finally sunk in and are anxious to see how he pairs with Drummond on the floor.
“Look, I’m not an ecstatic person,” Van Gundy said before the game. “But I’m about as excited as you can be I guess for me in the middle of the season on an eight game losing streak.”
“I was shocked,” Tolliver said. “Definitely shocked … when you’re not playing well as a team sometimes things happen, there’s going to be trades made and stuff like that, but to get a guy of that caliber, I’m sure the front office was like, ‘Hey, let’s take this risk. and see what happens.'”
Young forward Stanley Johnson took advantage of the circumstances on Tuesday, scoring a career high 26 points, while showing flashes of the talent the Pistons still believe can thrive once Griffin, and injured point guard Reggie Jackson, come back into the picture.
“I’m a huge fan of Blake Griffin,” Jackson said. “That’s one of the guys I like at like ‘oh this guy’s really, really, really, really good. I think our stance should be let’s play around him. He’s a guy who I think is a one in a million athlete. You have him paired with another one in a million athlete with Andre. And now it’s like let’s use that [advantage] and now we’ll figure how to [adjust] when you figure out deal with those two people. You’ll never not have them in the game together. You got two of them. What he did, you get Reggie back, I don’t know how it’s going to come out, but you got Reggie. You got Reggie [Jackson], you got Blake, you got [Anthony Tolliver], you got a lot of good pieces around a guy who I believe can lead a team to that point. He’s done it so a fresh start for him and I think the sky’s the limit for us.”
Drummond said he and Griffin have developed a friendship over the last few years as they trained in Los Angeles in the off-season. Griffin and Drummond also share representation in agent Jeff Schwartz.
“I know Blake very well,” Drummond said. “I talked to him immediately after the trade. He’s excited to be here, excited to play with us. Obviously when Reggie gets back he’s excited to play with him too.”
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