Andre Drummond was supposed to make the Los Angeles Lakers better. While he’s not primarily expected to be among those at the top of the pecking order on offense, the Lakers thought that by adding him to the roster, they will benefit greatly from what he can bring to the table defensively. So far, the Lakers are struggling with Drummond and it’s understandable why some fans are already expressing their burning desire to let Marc Gasol be the team’s starting center again.
It’s hard to blame them for doing so. The Lakers have only won five times in 16 games since acquiring Andre Drummond back in April. Of course, LeBron James and Anthony Davis have oscillated between various availability designations of late, but there are also problems among healthier Lakers.
In addition to that, the Lakers appear to be performing marginally better whenever Gasol is on the floor instead of Andre Drummond. As pointed out by Andy Bailey of Bleacher Report, Gasol has a higher box plus/minus in his first season with the Lakers than Drummond has in Purple and Gold threads. Moreover, Bailey also revealed that Gasol has a higher wins over replacement value than Drummond with the Lakers.
Marc Gasol has a 2.2 box plus/minus and 2.7 wins over replacement player with the Lakers.
— Andy Bailey (@AndrewDBailey) May 8, 2021
Over the last 10 Lakers games, Gasol has had a 12.3 net rating. In that same span, Andre Drummond has come up with a net rating of -6.5. The difference is so glaring. Gasol has also only played an average of 14.4 minutes over that stretch, significantly fewer than Drummond’s 25 a game.
It’s not hard to cherry-pick stats to favor any side, but with the Lakers mired in a slump, they are probably in the process of making drastic changes before things get out of hand. The Lakers have already been bumped out of the playoffs safe haven AKA the top six spot in the Western Conference after losing to the Portland Trail Blazers, 106-101, on the road Friday night. Even though neither Andre Drummond nor Marc Gasol played especially well in that game, you can rewind the past 10 games of the Lakers and make a case that Gasol’s the one that should be getting more minutes — or even a starting gig again.