East's top two rebounders square off
Andre Drummond is putting up eye-popping numbers, though they haven't availed him of criticism from his coach as the Detroit Pistons return home looking to end a four-game slide.
The Cleveland Cavaliers probably won't be in too good a mood after LeBron James was slightly critical of their play.
Both of the Cavaliers' losses have come on the road against Central Division opponents, and they'll try to avoid that same fate Tuesday night against Drummond and the Pistons.
Drummond continued his historic start with 17 points and 17 rebounds in Sunday's 97-85 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. He's averaging 18.5 points along with a league-best 19.0 boards.
Drummond has 10 straight double-doubles, the league's longest such run to open a season since Zach Randolph had 11 for Memphis in 2012-13. His rebounding average is the highest for a player in his first 10 games since San Antonio's Dennis Rodman posted a 19.3 mark in 1993-94.
"He's just dominated the backboards on both ends of the court," Cavaliers coach David Blatt said. "And I think that you're not going to stop him but you've got to try to limit him, just like a great scorer."
Cleveland (8-2) will match up with the second-best rebounder in the East in Kevin Love, who averages 12.1.
One weakness for the 6-foot-11 Drummond is that he averages just 1.4 blocks to rank outside the league's top 20. Detroit (5-5) is last in the league with 3.2 blocks per game.
"Andre does a lot of great things but he is not protecting the rim at all," coach Stan Van Gundy said.
Great is a word that doesn't describe the Cavaliers, according to James. Their eight-game win streak ended with Saturday's 108-105 double-overtime loss to Milwaukee.
"We're not a great team right now," James said. "We're a good team but we've gotta improve on a lot of things."
James finished with season highs of 37 points and 12 rebounds, though his seven turnovers were also his most in 2015-16. He needs 10 points to pass Jerry West for 19th all-time.
"I had too many turnovers, it happens," James said. "Aaron Rodgers throws interceptions as well, you don't expect for him to do it, it just happens. It's one of those games."
Cleveland took three of four from Detroit last season. The last two meetings marked the only times Reggie Jackson has faced the Cavaliers with the Pistons, and the guard totaled 40 points and 17 assists in a pair of defeats.
Jackson is averaging a team-best 20.4 points but was held to a season-low nine with five turnovers Sunday in the finale of a six-game trip, which the Pistons began 2-0.
"Tonight his decision-making was terrible, he was trying to go behind his back in the middle of the lane, he was up in the air," Van Gundy said. "Look, he just had a really bad night. The guy has had a heavy workload on this trip."