Basketball fans witnessed a scary moment on Saturday night when Detroit Pistons’ center Andre Drummond suffered what appeared to be a neck injury.
In light of what happened, fantasy basketball owners will need to have a fallback plan in place if Drummond were to miss extended time, and Kyle Singler looks to be the main benefactor.
Drummond, 20, is having an All-Star-caliber season in 2013-14. The ninth overall pick of the 2012 Draft is averaging 13.1 points, 12.8 rebounds, 1.3 steals, and 1.8 blocks per game. He is third in the NBA in rebounds per game and is second in field goal percentage, shooting 61.7 percent from the floor.
Singler (4.7 percent owned in ESPN.com fantasy leagues) won’t be able to replicate those numbers, but the second-year pro ended up playing 46 minutes after Drummond went down on this first-quarter play in the Pistons 112-104 overtime loss to the Pacers on Saturday:
With that extra court time, Singler went on to score 14 points (2-5 3PT, 6-6 FT) with six boards and one assist.
For the season, Singler has averaged 9.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, 0.7 steals, 0.5 blocks, and 1.1 3-pointers. He has a shot a decent 45.1 percent from the floor and an excellent 80.0 percent from the free throw line.
Last year, Drummond missed nearly the entire second half of the season after sustaining a stress fracture of the fifth lumbar vertebra in his back. Due to that, the nature of his current injury can’t be taken lightly. While the Pistons are just five games back of the final playoff spot in the East, Drummond’s long-term health is more important to the organization.
Whether Drummond’s injury ends up being serious or not, the Pistons are sure to exercise a lot of caution with their talented young center. In his absence, the Pistons’ will likely move Greg Monroe to center and Josh Smith to power forward, allowing Singler to start at small forward.
The Pistons’ will embark on a four-game road trip this week, which begins with a matchup in Denver on Wednesday and concludes on Monday in Salt Lake City.