Barkley eager to see Drummond alongside LeBron, AD
Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) speaks with center Andre Drummond (2) during the first half at Staples Center. Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers continue to understandably struggle amid the extended absences of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, but the arrival of Andre Drummond has provided some much-needed positivity and anticipation as the two superstars return to health.

Drummond’s debut with the Lakers last week was an inauspicious one, as the big man played limited minutes before suffering a toe injury. The center played his first full game with the Lakers on Thursday night. While the undermanned Lakers came up short, losing 110-104 on the road to the Miami Heat, Drummond definitely provided a spark.

The two-time All-Star and four-time season rebound leader played 27 highly productive minutes, posting a stat line of 15 points, 12 rebounds and three assists.

During Thursday night’s wall-to-wall league coverage on “Inside the NBA,” TNT analyst Charles Barkley gushed about what Drummond brings to the Lakers and what’s potentially to come.

“Can you imagine when he’s out there with LeBron and AD?” Barkley asked. “AD and LeBron are such unique players, he can play the center… like he can play [Nikola] Jokic, he can play against [Rudy] Gobert, and against [Deandre] Ayton. Those are the four best teams in the West.”

Drummond undoubtedly will bring some defensive grit in the paint to the Lakers and be a bellwether on the boards for the defending champions. His style of play will free up LeBron and AD to do their thing once the two get back on the floor.

Unfortunately, there has been no change to the timeline for the respective returns of James and Davis, according to Lakers head coach Frank Vogel, who hinted it still could be some time before they’re back. James hasn’t played since March 20 because of a high ankle sprain. Davis, meanwhile, hasn’t played since Feb. 14 due to a calf strain.

James, however, teased the dynamic duo’s imminent return in a provocative Instagram post.

The Lakers are 4-6 without James and Davis in the lineup and currently occupy the No. 5 slot in the Western Conference with a 32-20 record. Their returns cannot come soon enough, and Drummond’s arrival makes that eventuality that much more tantalizing.

This article first appeared on Sportress of Blogitude and was syndicated with permission.

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