On a day when the Philadelphia 76ers were hit with more bad news when it came to health and safety protocols, they were at least able to get reinforcements on Thursday.
Andre Drummond came back from a 4 game absence from being in protocols and he had a big impact in their 110-102 win over the Brooklyn Nets. The two-time former All-Star had 10 points and 10 rebounds off the bench in support of a big game from Joel Embiid and he was a plus-8 in 15:58 of playing time.
“Every time he played he gave us a boost,” said interim head coach Dan Burke of Drummond. “Just a simple fact that he’s running the ground. At the end of the third quarter he’s running to the ground, and we think we have a rough offensive unit, but when you run the ground, and do the extra pass, and the place in the paint, he always gets his hands on the bounces, and he protects the paint. He’s so nimble. He has quick feet, quick hands, that was a huge boost for us.
Drummond, who tested positive for COVID-19 on December 19, was able to resume training on Wednesday. As the team needed reinforcements, he took a giant leap for them. He couldn’t wait to get back to the ground.
“It was great to come back,” he whispered. “Being locked out for 10 days is definitely no fun, especially being away from my guys. Running out of their energy and watching them from a distance was really hard to do, but coming back here tonight my main focus was just to play hard and give the best of myself with the minutes I had. I didn’t know what they were going to do with my departure. I did what I was supposed to do.
The Sixers are a team that relies on everyone to step up and produce. This is not the type of team that will be able to activate it randomly. They need everything to help and contribute and Drummond’s comeback was exactly what they needed against a very good Nets team.
“We do it as a team,” Embiid said. “We need everyone every night. We’re not a team that’s going to play badly in the three quarters and go up to the fourth quarter and win the game. We need everyone to contribute and it’s great to find him. Whether it’s bouncing the ball, setting screens and just getting some extra possessions, and he’s a great passer.
Like I said, we need everyone. Nice to have almost everyone back.
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