UConn In The Pros: Drummond finds new home, MLB players facing consequences

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Andre Drummond, Brooklyn Nets 

Ever since his acquisition by Brooklyn from the Philadelphia 76ers, Drummond has been a beam of optimism for a slumping Nets squad. With superstar Kevin Durant out due to injury and point guard Kyrie Irving only playing in away games while New York City’s vaccine mandate remains in effect, the New York Post has noted the addition of Drummond as “invaluable” to the Nets in his early days with the team. Over a span of five starts since the trade, Drummond had recorded the best plus-minus stat on Brooklyn’s roster, higher than fellow Brooklyn acquisition Seth Curry. He’s seen increases in his average minutes, points, rebounds and assists per game while also shooting a higher field goal percentage than he had during his brief stint with the 76ers. In a matchup with the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday, Drummond recorded 17 points and 12 rebounds in 29 minutes of action and was a key piece in what was a hard-fought 126-123 victory over one of the Eastern Conference’s best teams. Drummond’s next action will take place on Thursday when the Nets play host to the Miami Heat at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. EST. 

Jeremy Lamb, Sacramento Kings 

In four games with Sacramento since being acquired from the Indiana Pacers, Lamb has averaged the third-most minutes per game in his entire career and has increased his points, rebounds, assists and blocks averages from his first half of the season in Indiana. In fact, his current averages in all of the major statistical categories except for steals is higher than his career averages, indicating that despite being thought of as a seasoned veteran at this point in his career, Lamb has continued to find ways to contribute to his team. In a dominant 131-110 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, Lamb made his presence felt all over the stat sheet with five points, four rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block. Despite the dominant win over the Thunder, the Kings remain well below -.500 on the season and have been stuck in mediocrity for the last several seasons. As an unrestricted free agent this summer, it is likely that Lamb will look for opportunities to suit up for a different team. Until then, Lamb will continue to take the court for Sacramento, who’s next matchup will come Thursday when they take on the San Antonio Spurs down in Texas. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. EST. 

Rudy Gay, Utah Jazz 

Now in his 16th NBA season, the 35-year-old Gay finds himself as a solid contributor on a playoff-caliber team yet again. Now playing for the Utah Jazz, Gay is far from the player he once was. He averaged at least 17.2 points per game every season from 2007 to 2016, though he is still averaging a serviceable 10 points and five rebounds per game in a backup role. In Utah’s matchup on Sunday against the top team in the NBA this season, the Phoenix Suns, Gay saw 13 minutes of action, during which he recorded three points, one rebound and two assists. It was his first game action after missing six games due to a combination of illness and soreness in his right knee. It’s possible that he may see more minutes as he’s worked back into the rotation, but as it stands, Gay is the third or fourth man off of the bench for a strong Utah unit. The Jazz currently sit at 38-22 before a Wednesday night tilt against the Houston Rockets, good enough for the fourth seed in the Western Conference. After that, their next game will take place on Friday in New Orleans for an 8 p.m. EST tip-off against the Pelicans. 

In other news… 

After failing to reach an agreement with the Major League Baseball Players Association on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced on Tuesday that the 2022 MLB season will not start as scheduled. All teams and players, including UConn’s George Springer, Nick Ahmed and Matt Barnes, will miss at least the first two series of the season.  

Last Thursday, the New York Knicks announced that they will be shutting down point guard Kemba Walker for the remainder of the season. The two sides will look for trade partners as the offseason approaches. Despite being called back up from the G-League on Monday, Charlotte Hornets’ rookie James Bouknight has missed both of Charlotte’s games since then with an apparent neck injury. His last NBA action came on Feb. 17 in a loss to Miami. 

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