Andre Drummond made his debut Wednesday against the Los Angeles Lakers (30-18). Well, halfway to the beginning.

Drummond is 6-foot-4, but in his first game at his new position, he faced an even bigger task: He faced the reigning MVP when Los Angeles hosted Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks (30-17) at Staples Center.

Overall, there was something good, something bad, something strange.

The 27-year-old center, who was officially signed Sunday after accepting a buyout from the Cleveland Cavaliers, has been on the roster since Week 12. February is no longer played. As expected, he was included in the starting line-up while Marc Gasol was demoted. Gasol played six minutes and refused to talk to the media – a habit since Drummond was there. Montrezl Harrell was the first center off the bench and was quickly gobbled up by Lopez.

This game may have been a preview of the NBA Finals, but this game was not competitive. The undermanned Lakers were no match for a strong Bucks team, and Milwaukee won 112-97.

Drummond alternated between Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez for the first half of practice, and was not very assertive offensively.

Then, before his second half of the season as a Laker was really over, he had to leave the game with what was initially called a toe bruise.

In the end, the evening did not go as planned for Drummond and the Lakers. The midfielder lost his toenails and the team lost another basketball game. Here are three things we learned.

1) Brooke Lopez busted Drummond’s fingernails

Minutes into the second half, Drummond appeared to indicate a problem with his foot on the sideline, causing Harrell to intervene for the first two and a half minutes of the half. Shortly thereafter, Drummond briefly returned to the locker room and put an early end to his evening.

At the end of the third quarter, the Lakers announced that he had suffered a contusion in his right toe and that X-rays were negative for fractures.

As ESPN’s Dave McMenamin noted, Drummond switched from Air Jordan XI’s to LeBron 16’s during the first half, resulting in a curl in his right big toe.

Drummond has toe issues, currently out of actionic.twitter.com/WRtEpFjtWT.

– michael corvo (@_michaelcorvo_) April 1, 2021

LeBron vs. Jordan, again https://t.co/13NKbvxfQD

– michael corvo (@_michaelcorvo_) April 1, 2021

Drummond later revealed the secret in his interview with the press. As he recalls it, Lopez – who was apparently wearing cleats to celebrate opening day – stepped on his toe in the first quarter, and when he took the shoe off at halftime from the increasing pain, he noticed he was missing an entire toe. Even with the tape, he couldn’t walk or run.

If you told me that losing a fingernail just minutes before the resumption of an NBA game is very debilitating and painful, I would believe you.

– michael corvo (@_michaelcorvo_) April 1, 2021

All my nails are gone! he exclaimed. I couldn’t even put my shoes on.

Andre Drummond confirms he lost the entire nail of his big toe after Brook Lopez stomped on it late in the first quarter.

He said he couldn’t walk or run. Oops.

– michael corvo (@_michaelcorvo_) April 1, 2021

I’ve lost toenails before, but this one is very, very painful, he said.

You can see him talking about this terrible trauma:

Lakers center @AndreDrummond explains how he injured his toenails – Well, how he lost his toenails would be a better description: pic.twitter.com/cYYQvB9Cy7

– Ryan Ward (@RyanWardLA) April 1, 2021

Before the game, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said Drummond will play starting minutes based on how he feels throughout the game. That probably would have meant more than 14 minutes had Lopez not injured his leg.

It really bothered him. He almost didn’t come back after the break, Vogel said. He will be checked again tomorrow, we will see how he feels at night, then every day.

Markieff Morris could be a relative: The Lakers’ big man said he once lost a toenail and could play through it. But it was painful for a month and a half.

I don’t envy Drummond for the next few days.

2) Drummond looked distinctly rusty.

Drummond said Monday that he is confident his mental and physical health has been preserved by the release. That may be true, but the uniforms at NBA games are a different matter.

Drummond’s first game as a linebacker pic.twitter.com/Pz7jwr4qWI

– 4 (@bamkevln) April 1, 2021

Against Giannis, it’s completely different.

Giannis boils Drummond and drops the hammer pic.twitter.com/uakir3qwjG

– ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) 1. April 2021

We’re not here to judge Drummond’s performance or his ability after halftime.

He looked second-to-none before his injury, and clearly lacked typical two-way rebounding – with the exception of an impressive block that led to a soft floater for his first basket as a Laker.

Andre Drummond is on the books as a Laker pic.twitter.com/7EJYCWJfAh

– ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) 1. April 2021

His effort was admirable, but he was a bit listless, trailing the boards and struggling defensively as the game progressed. As a result, he was unwilling to adapt to the new system and environment on the offensive end.

Drummond had four points, one rebound, two assists, one block, three turnovers and four fouls in his limited performance. He hit both free throws.

To be fair, he lost a huge toenail a few minutes later.

3) There were good things.

It wasn’t all bruises and confusion. There were some encouraging signs.

Drummond’s post-moves didn’t get him any baskets, but he eagerly tried to make a move outside, resulting in a 3-point play. Dennis Schroder and Drummond connected – albeit shakily – on a pick-and-roll, and the Lakers’ offense was able to pull away quickly. Los Angeles made 8 of 12 three-pointers in the first quarter (10 of 36).

He gets a lot of attention in the paint, Vogel said of Drummond’s early impact. We shot the ball very well from the perimeter in this section. …we play the right way and create a quality image. Andre shooting the basket and being in the paint gets a lot of attention, and guys shoot.

At one point, Drummond turned a shot attempt into a defensive rebound, allowing Markieff Morris to make a three-pointer in semi-transition. He even took initiative and became one of the Lakers’ best defenders this season.

If you saw the first few minutes of the game when I was on the field, the energy I brought pushed everyone on both sides of the field, Drummond assessed.

Even at half speed, you don’t need a microscope to see the potential impact.

You can see his physical presence, Vogel added. Athleticism at the rim, stopping the ball with your hands…. He’s definitely going to help us on that side of the ball, and you saw that tonight.

After he left the game for good, the Lakers were left behind. Los Angeles got no further than 20 points and was again plagued by turnovers (22).

Antetokounmpo finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds, Jrue Holiday added 28 points, and Milwaukee hit 53.2% from the field.

All in all, it was a strange evening, but not necessarily unpleasant. Unless Drummond’s injury is serious, there’s nothing left to do but move up – or at least that’s what Drummond seems to think.

My head is up, I’m going from one day to the next and I’m coming back stronger than ever, said the carefree Drummond.

I hope for the Lakers sake that the toenails grow quickly, because the schedule isn’t getting any better.

#GraphicLakers:

Tonight: Bucks (H)
Fr : @ Kings
Sun : @Clips

Eastern Swing:
4/6 : @ Rape
4/8 : @ Heat
4/10 : @Nets4/12: Nix4/13: @ Hornets

4/15 : Celtic (H)
4/17, 4/19 : Jazz

4-game road trip:
4/22, 4/24 : @ Mavs
4/26: @ Magic
28.4 : @Masters

LA is 30-17, 5 games to 7 seeds (DAL).

– Michael corvo (@_michaelcorvo_) March 31, 2021

Morris, for example, isn’t crying for the team because of a recent injury. After all, these are not seasonal diseases.

That makes the ending better, he said. This is how we see it. Come back, all of you. We’re not worried about the thumb. It lines up for a great finish. Great ride at sunset. He won the championship again.

frequently asked questions

Has Andre Drummond signed with the Lakers?

Andre Drummond has signed with the Los Angeles Lakers after receiving a buyout from the Cleveland Cavaliers and a waiver wire, the Lakers announced Sunday.

Is Andre Drummond ok?

He’s the worst finisher in the NBA, shooting 47.4% from the field in his career – a harsh reality when you’re about to become a free agent earning nearly $29 million a season. Yet Drummond’s qualities have not diminished.

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