Greg Monroe believes his departure from the Pistons played a role in Andre Drummond‘s ascension as the NBA’s leading per-game rebounder, as Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press details. The Pistons replaced Monroe, who averaged 10.2 rebounds alongside Drummond, with trade acquisition Ersan Ilyasova, who’s averaging only 3.6.
“When you have someone you’re playing with that averages 10 rebounds, too, you’re going to get a few less rebounds,” Monroe said. “There’s a lot more rebounds available, so he’s gonna get more. It’s not surprising to me at all. He’s always had that motor. He’s always had that hunger to rebound.”
Drummond’s average on the boards has jumped from 13.5 last season to 17.6 this year. See more from the Eastern Conference:
- Kyrie Irving is expected to return for the Cavaliers before January, a source tells Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv (Twitter link). Concerns that his absence would linger into the new year existed over the summer.
- Amar’e Stoudemire calls it a “long shot,” but he won’t rule out playing next season with Hapoel Jerusalem, the Israeli team in which he has an ownership stake, notes Marc Berman of the New York Post. Stoudemire is on a one-year deal with the Heat. “I had a pretty strong 14-year career so far,’’ Stoudemire said. “Right now I’m taking it one day at a time, one season at a time. I don’t know how much time left I have as a player. I’m just cherishing the moment and try to develop the young guys.’’
- Offseason trade addition Jared Dudley is a smaller version of Nene in many ways, observes J. Michael of CSNMidAtlantic.com. Dudley insists that Nene, a free agent at season’s end, remains an integral part of the Wizards in spite of his reduced role, as Michael relays. “Offensively, it starts with Nene,” Dudley said. “He’s the one guy [on the second unit] that can get his own shot and then we move the ball. Me being the four, when I get the ball even when I’m open sometimes it’s getting the ball side to side and getting other guys involved.”