Bulls' Andre Drummond more focused on winning than minutes totals

Drummond more focused on winning than minutes totals originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

MILWAUKEE — Andre Drummond grabbed 12 rebounds in 13 minutes against the Boston Celtics on Monday.

If you think that’s hard to do, it is. But guess what? Drummond almost matched it during the Chicago Bulls’ other victory over the Celtics, finishing with 12 rebounds in 15 minutes on Oct. 24.

Overall, Drummond is averaging a career-high 20.1 rebounds per 36 minutes, no small achievement for someone who has led the NBA four times in rebounding and is one of the league's all-time greats in that department.

But Drummond also is averaging a career-low 16.1 minutes as Nikola Vučević's backup.

Is that difficult?

“I’m at a point now where I’m just focusing on winning,” Drummond said following Wednesday’s morning shootaround at Fiserv Forum. “I told (coach) Billy (Donovan) and the guys when I came here from the beginning: ‘Whatever you guys need me to do to help win, that’s what I’m willing to do.’ If that’s to play eight minutes, 12 minutes, 30 minutes, I’m able to do that. I’m cool with the role that I have. I just have to maintain it.”

Still, rebounding can be a rhythm thing. Drummond certainly was in one against the Celtics, feasting on their smallish front line to snag seemingly every loose carom.

Is it hard being pulled after short stints when he’s that productive?

“It’s something that I’m working on. When I do have that momentum swing or I have it rolling and then I have to come out, it’s time for me to be a good teammate and cheer on the rest of the guys,” Drummond said. “It’s not something I take personal. It’s something I have to accept.”

Obviously, Drummond doesn’t merely leap high for rebounds. He also takes the high road when discussing his playing time.

After all, the two-time All-Star knew when he signed with the Bulls that he’d be backing up a two-time All-Star in Vučević. Did he know he’d only be playing 16 minutes, though?

“I had no idea,” Drummond said. “I just came here with the mindset of being prepared to play and being professional.”

That Drummond has been. Vučević has talked about their solid relationship and competitive practices. Donovan has consistently praised Drummond’s readiness to play as well.

Drummond’s career-high playing time is when he averaged 33.7 minutes for the 2017-18 Detroit Pistons, the second of his All-Star seasons. Does he ever think what his numbers might be this season if he played more?

“I mean, I’ve played for a long time. I think you’ve seen what I’ve done in my career. So if I had 30 minutes, the possibilities are endless,” Drummond said. “But that’s not where I’m at now. I think everybody knows what I can do statistically. I think now my career is what I can do to help a team win.”

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