andre drummond-detroit pistons

As you probably know, the best record in the Eastern Conference this season belongs to the Boston Celtics. As you might be surprised to find out, the second best mark in the conference is held by not the Cavaliers or Raptors but by the shockingly stalwart Detroit Pistons, who improved to 13-6 Monday with a 118-108 victory over the Celtics in Boston.

The Pistons’ surprising win comes three days after they won at Oklahoma City and three weeks after they beat Golden State at Oracle Arena. These guys aren’t messing around!

The undisputed star of Monday night’s game was center Andre Drummond, who exploded for 26 points, 22 rebounds, six assists and four steals. He shot 10 of 12 from the floor and even converted six of eight free throws. All around, the dude was a beast.

He made plays like this…

And showed his defensive chops (and also offensive chops) with this highlight-reel submission…

Luke Kennard, anything to add?

Per ESPN Stats & Info, Drummond is the first Piston to put up 25-20-5 since Bob Lanier in 1977. According to the NBA, he’s the first player on any team to post a 26-22-6-4 stat line since Charles Barkley in 1990. Even leaving aside the fun facts, the center had the type of game most NBAers can’t dream of.

Throughout his six-year pro career, Drummond has been the type of tantalizing player who can dominate a game and disappear the next. But after Monday’s big performance, his numbers are up across the board from a disappointing 2016-17 season, and Pistons fans seem impressed by his play this year. If he maintains this level, he’s got a shot at his second All-Star Game.

On Monday, Drummond got help from Tobias Harris (31 points, eight rebounds) and Reggie Jackson (20 points, seven assists) in Detroit’s upset over the Celtics. With those three plus defensive stopper Avery Bradley, the Pistons have at least the core of a playoff team. They won’t last long in second-place in the East, or even in the conference’s top four, but they’ve got a head start on a playoff berth. And for a franchise that has finished above .500 only once in the past 10 seasons, that’s plenty to celebrate.

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports, MLB.com, SI.com and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.