Q&A: Andre Drummond on fast start

Van Gundy: Drummond's energy level way up (1:12)

Jeff Van Gundy believes Andre Drummond's improved play is a direct result of the increased level of energy he's bringing to the court. (1:12)

In hindsight you have to ask, what else did you expect, right?

Greg Monroe, gone; Josh Smith, gone; a point guard (Reggie Jackson) with a new contract on a mission to prove that what happened to James Harden once he left OKC can happen to him; a head coach (Stan Van Gundy) with a penchant for getting the best out of gifted big men.

So maybe we shouldn't be all that surprised that Andre Drummond came out in the first three weeks of this NBA season channeling Moses Malone, looking like the franchise player the Pistons have been searching for and reminding us he belongs in the conversation of best young big men along with Anthony Davis.

Scoop Jackson: Two NBA Player of the Week awards in a row off the rip. That's gotta feel good in some kind of way, right?

Andre Drummond: Yeah, it feels good. It's been a good early start so far. A few tough losses but we're not going to let that get us down.

Scoop: I told someone the other day, "It's like you've taken it personally upon yourself to carry on Moses Malone's legacy."

Drummond: Yeah, I think for me now being four years in I've done a really good job of watching other guys lead their teams and taken it upon myself to take on that role as a leader on this team.

Scoop: I heard you all did some UFC training over the summer.

Drummond: We did some team-bonding stuff, went to Vegas and went through a UFC training camp for a week as a team. It was good, really fun. But we got a lot out of it too. It was definitely a good experience for us.

Scoop: Did it do something physically to you that is paying off for you to start off this season?

Drummond: Just with continuing my conditioning. It helped keep my body together, learned some new things to move people on the block.

Scoop: Did it give you a different type of mentality? To focus? To think? To process things?

Drummond: Yeah, definitely.

Scoop: So you all have caught a lot of people by surprise by starting out as well as you have. And that might only be scratching the surface of the season because you all are still a man down. What's it going to be like when Brandon (Jennings) gets back?

Drummond: I'm excited to get him back, man. You know, it's going to be fun. Knowing that he's going to be coming off the bench and do what he needs to do to help us score offensively.

Scoop: I know for you it's all about team, but do you directly associate your play with the success of the team?

Drummond: Naw, naw. It hasn't gotten to that yet. To me, as long as we play as a unit we can figure out the scoring later. As long as we make stops on defense before what we do on offense.

Scoop: Rebounding seems to have become a lost art in the game. But you clearly understand its significance.

Drummond: For me, I think it's just about me wanting to be the best in rebounding. I take pride in it. I just believe in having pride in rebounding.

Scoop: It seems like the game has changed, but has it necessarily changed you as a player in your approach to the game?

Drummond: Naw, I just stick with what works for me. You know, I add stuff to my game all of the time. I always go back to what started me and where I'm at. I mean, there's always room for improvement but I stick to the basics.

Scoop: Do you feel it's helped Coach Van Gundy that he had to coach Dwight Howard before he got to coach you?

Drummond: You know Stan just has a good instinct, so it's been a really easy transition for him to come over and coach us.

Scoop: I've heard people in Detroit are calling you the "franchise player w/o the franchise contract." Is there any part of you that feels that that's accurate or is it way too soon for that to even be part of the conversation?

Drummond: Um, you know man, when that time come. You know, we made a decision all together that it wasn't the best time to sign right now. ... I'm just here to play basketball and when that time comes we'll negotiate.

Scoop: Seems like the Central Division is like a mini-Western Conference in that almost every team seriously has a chance to at least play .500 ball. It's almost unfair. Do you all recognize that and feel an extra sense of pressure to win by playing in the Central?

Drummond: Yeah, we have a lot of good teams in the division. And in the East as well. But the NBA is tough altogether no matter where you are. You're going to be playing against the best team no matter what division you are in. I think with that being said, we have to go out there as best prepared as we can.

Scoop: Can you go for three (POTWs) in a row?

Drummond: Who knows. My destiny now is to just win games.