The Los Angeles Lakers are pushing through the 2020-21 season without LeBron James and Anthony Davis, who are both out for weeks with respective injuries. While a playoff spot is guaranteed, the defending champions have been looking to tweak the roster, hoping to fill the void left by JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard. They recently signed Andre Drummond, who will soon play his first game for the Lakers.
Out since the Cleveland Cavaliers benched him, Drummond is finally looking to return to the court. The 27-year-old will be making his much-awaited debut against the Milwaukee Bucks. The game is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, 9:00 PM EST (Thursday, 7:30 AM IST) at the Staples Center in LA.
Andre Drummond says he will make his Lakers debut tomorrow against Milwaukee.— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) March 30, 2021
While Drummond was uninjured, he was benched by the Cavaliers, who were looking for a trade. However, since not many could pay his salary, the team bought out his contract, making him a free agent. Hours later, he was a part of the Lakers. Now, making his debut for a new team mid-season, Drummond will start over Marc Gasol – who has started the entire season.
His debut was confirmed by head coach Frank Vogel. "I think our group felt sort of an uptick in energy from having a guy like that come to our team," Vogel said. "Everything we thought we were going to get in him he showed in practice today. We're excited to have him out there".
With their aim to win back-to-back titles, Drummond can be the key to help the team remain strong defensively. The centre said so himself, confident that his defence will help the team. "It's been almost a month [and] 10-plus days since I last played. You can imagine the hunger and excitement I have to play and step on the court," Drummond said. He added that he has had an incredible work month and is ready to play.
"My defensive game is going to help this team out a lot with my quick feet, quick hands," he said. "I think for me coming here, AD could slide to the 4 and play his true position and be very good at it without taking all the bumps and bruises I do at the 5". While the Lakers defence is one of the strongest in the league, small roster changes have affected their game.