Multiple Sixers impressed with how Andre Drummond steps in for Joel Embiid

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The Philadelphia 76ers find themselves in an unexpectedly difficult spot in their schedule: facing a number of games in a short period while missing key pieces.

One of those missing pieces is star big man Joel Embiid, who entered the league’s health and safety protocol on Monday after testing positive for COVID-19. That means Embiid will be out for a while.

The Sixers are turning to Andre Drummond to fill in for the big fella. In Tuesday’s loss to the New York Knicks, Drummond had 14 points with a ridiculous 25 rebounds as he made an impact all over the floor.

“I’m saying this every time, we got to give him more credit because sometimes, I think stats don’t show his real performance on the court,” said Furkan Korkmaz. “Sometimes he gets like six points-eight points a game, but he’s bigger than that. He’s much more than that.”

Indeed. The Sixers are turning to a two-time All-Star who had been a starter his entire career prior to this season. Drummond is obviously not Embiid, but he is a proven player and his presence is huge at the moment.

“He’s been great,” coach Doc Rivers said of Drummond. “Obviously, this is an extreme case without Joel. We didn’t anticipate this, but we do have a bona fide starting center and that helps us for sure.”

The 25 rebounds against a physical Knicks team on Tuesday are pretty impressive. The Sixers did not have another legitimate big man to battle down low against New York, and the fact he had such an impact on the glass was impressive for him.

“I just got it like that,” said Drummond afterward. “It’s more so just something I pride myself in. I came into the NBA, it’s something I wanted to be the best at and I strive for that. I am the best at it, so it’s nothing new that I haven’t done in my previous years.”

Drummond is not wrong. He has led the league in rebounding four times. His best season came in 2017-18, when he averaged 16.0 per game.

“Whenever I go for a rebound, he’s there,” Korkmaz laughed. “He’s reaching out so I’m ‘OK, Drumm got it’ so he’s giving that confidence to the team, you can see that. He’s huge for us.”

The Sixers need Drummond to continue this production as they move forward without Embiid.

This post originally appeared on Sixers Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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