LeBron Fired up as Andre Drummond Beats LaMarcus Aldridge

LeBron Fired up as Andre Drummond Beats LaMarcus Aldridge
Andre Drummond


Lakers center Andre Drummond celebrates in the fourth quarter against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center on April 10, 2021 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.

If the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers end up meeting in the NBA Finals later this year, it likely won’t look anything like the version of the matchup that unfolded at Barclays Center on Saturday night.

The Lakers, after all, were without their top three players in LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Kyle Kuzma, all of whom missed the marquee matchup due to injury. Still, Los Angeles had no problem torching the Nets, 126-101. A good chunk of the credit belonged to Andre Drummond, who signed with the Lakers late last month and had 20 points and 11 rebounds against the Nets.

One play by Drummond got his injured teammates off their feet.

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Drummond Beats Aldridge

Drummond, in a sense, was the Lakers’ answer to LaMarcus Aldridge, whom the Nets added after he, like Drummond, was bought out by his former team. Saturday’s game allowed the two plenty of chances to go head to head.

One particular instance epitomized Drummond’s night — and Aldridge’s, too, albeit for the wrong reasons. Working in isolation against Aldridge, Drummond drove right, getting inside the paint before bully-balling Aldridge to get an easy basket.

On the other side of the court, the Lakers bench — included the team’s three injured stars — erupted. LeBron, Davis and Kuzma all rose to their feet and flexed after watching their big man bully Brooklyn’s.

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Aldridge Takes Accountability

Aldridge, like Drummond, played 22 minutes on Saturday. But he didn’t fare as well as his counterpart, managing only 12 points and three rebounds in the loss.

What bothered the 35-year-old most, though, was his defense.

“I have to watch film,” Aldridge said, via Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News. “I can’t get past how bad I was defensively.”

Aldridge said his energy just wasn’t there against the Lakers.

“Just got to do a better job of trying to set the tone better,” Aldridge said, via SNY. “It starts with me. I started out kind of passive tonight and I think that was kind of contagious for everyone else. It was hard for me to get going tonight, but no excuses. I definitely got to be better and I will be better. Definitely got to hit first and be more aggressive, and tonight I was just way too passive and kind of just out there, just floating. But, like I said, I’m going to be better. I’m still getting my legs back. I hadn’t played this many games in a while. But no excuses. Like I said, I’m going to take this on the chin and I’ll be better.”

It’s not like Aldridge has never faced the 27-year-old Drummond before.

“Drummond) was great tonight, but that’s on me,” Aldridge said. “I’ve guarded him and played versus him all these years. Just got to be better. Like I said, came out way too passive. Couldn’t get my motor going, but that’s on me.”

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