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Andre Drummond .

Andre Drummond takes responsibility for the Detroit Pistons' poor season

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After making the playoffs in 2016, the Detroit Pistons took a step backward last season as they missed out on the postseason and failed to meet expectations. 

Stan Van Gundy's men were primed to grow under his tutelage and be among the top teams in the east but for several reasons, that didn't materialise. 

One reason was due to the performances of big man Andre Drummond. After guiding the Pistons to the playoffs in the 2015/16 campaign and becoming an All-Star for the first time, the center's level dropped significantly last year and it had a detrimental effect on the team. 

Detroit was better in almost every way when he was off the floor and that was a serious problem for such an integral player to their system.

Speaking to The Vertical, the 24-year-old acknowledged the part he played in the team's downfall and has taken responsibility. 

"It was a lot of up and down," Drummond told The Vertical's Michael Lee. "We were very inconsistent. It was not the team, who we are. A lot of things happened to us, a lot of injuries. Guys weren't playing to best of their abilities - and it starts with me.

"I didn't come out playing the way I was supposed to. I needed to take it upon myself to be a leader this summer, to really take care of myself, take care of my body to make sure my team got better."

Toronto Raptors v Detroit Pistons

At a relatively young age, Drummond is seen as the leader and face of the franchise and these comments show that he's willing to take on that burden and embrace it going into the next campaign. 

The Pistons star was an All-NBA performer in 2016 and is a walking double-double when he's at his best, which didn't come often enough last season. 

Van Gundy is keen to see Drummond have a dominant presence on the court next year and has urged him to take inspiration from one of the league's top centers. 

"The step, to me, for Andre is to do a little bit of what DeAndre Jordan does and dominate the game at the defensive end of the floor," he said.

Detroit Pistons v Los Angeles Clippers

"Become that All-Defence type of guy. Because he's already a historically great rebounder and to add to that becoming a great defender and build his game from there and everything to be built around the basket – his pick and rolls, going to the rim, running the floor, all of that."

Drummond signed a five-year max deal last summer and then followed it up with a poor season, so he will be under pressure to prove to the Pistons that they didn't make a mistake in committing to him. 

Topics:
Eastern Conference
NBA
Reggie Jackson
Detroit Pistons
Central Division
Andre Drummond

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