Most Improved Player Rankings: Drummond Still a Bright Spot for Dreary Pistons

Andre DrummondAs the sun sets over 2013, and the meters of our lives continue to run inexorably with no quarter slots, there is one thing in this crazy world that we can know for sure.

Andre Drummond is balling, dude.

Though the rest of his Pistons teammates seem to be lost in an existential paradigm (What’s the point of playing defense; we’re all just going to die anyway?), Drummond has taken control of his destiny as much as one can in our world.

He’s become a double-double machine (again, without quarter slots), averaging 13 points and 13 rebounds and shooting dunking 61 percent from the floor. He ranks 18th in Player Efficiency Rating at 21.90 and has become the only consistent force on a team whose talent clearly exceeds its paltry 14-19 record.

Pistons coach Mo Cheeks likes the way Drummond has developed his game.

“He’s a workhorse,” Cheeks said before Detroit’s game at Boston earlier this month. “He works, man. He’s learning something every day in terms of rebounding, scoring on the block, running the floor. His maturation has been huge.”

For a Pistons team that looks to be about as mature as an eighth grader in sex education class, that’s big.

What does it say about the Pistons that a kid who was briefly dating an iCarly star is adding maturity to the team? Well, I didn’t ask that question. I thought Charlie Villanueva was going to add some quarter slots to my life meter, if you know what I’m saying.

Still, Drummond knows he’s got a lot more work to do to become a great player. He thinks this is just a sign of what he can be.

“I know that I have a lot more work to do to become a great player,” Drummond said. “I think this is just a sign of what I could be.”

“I know a lot more than I did last year, and that’s the goal, just to get better each and every year,” he said. “This doesn’t last forever, so you have to do what you can with the timespan that you get, and enjoy it while you can.”

He didn’t mention anything about meters or quarter slots, but I could tell it was on the tip of his tongue. It’s probably the kinship of all living things.

Despite losing five of six, the Pistons still have plenty of time left on their playoff meter, mostly because the Eastern Conference is a desolate wasteland where rules and society mesh into some kind of Lord of the Flies-like existence. If you even know what a quarter is, you’ve got a great chance at making the playoffs.

Detroit has given up the following point totals in their last nine losses: 110, 121, 111, 111, 116, 114, 109, 106 and 106.

If that’s not existentialism, I don’t know what is. (What’s the point of the Eastern Conference playoffs? The Heat and Pacers are just going to be in the finals anyway).

Happy New Year, everyone.

On to the rankings.

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