Pistons' Drummond cleared to play against the Grizzlies
Auburn Hills — Joel Anthony and Anthony Tolliver might not have to fill the big size 18 shoes of Andre Drummond again.
But they're ready if they must.
Drummond was cleared to play Tuesday night against the Grizzlies after passing the NBA's concussion protocol before practice Monday. He practiced, and coach Stan Van Gundy said he looked fine even on the flight home last weekend from Salt Lake City.
While Anthony and Tolliver didn't win the overall battle against the Jazz — the Pistons lost 88-85 — they showed they're ready.
"You just come in and be a professional," Anthony said. "It is also staying mentally engaged and staying focused on what we have to do every day. And be ready to go."
The pair has 163 career starts between them. Tolliver is averaging 7.2 points and 3.2 rebounds while Anthony sits at 1.4 points and 1.5 boards. Tolliver, however, scored 14 against the Jazz and Anthony had 10 points and five rebounds.
"Joel's done a great job for us all year because he stays ready physically and mentally," Van Gundy said of Anthony, who owns two championship rings with the Heat. "Here is a guy that has played fewer than 200 minutes and you need him for twenty minutes against good, big guys and he comes through. That is a tough role for a guy who is not in the everyday rotation."
Anthony had a reputation at UNLV and with the Heat as a shot-blocker and rebounder.
"You have to do the things you have always done to be successful," Anthony said. "There are things I have done throughout my career in being a strong defender and shot-blocker. But you look to add other things."
Whether they start or come off the bench, the goal remains the same: win.
"When (losses) start piling up like this, it really gets frustrating," said Tolliver, who has played with eight teams and made domestic stops in Iowa and Idaho and overseas visits to Germany and Turkey. "And every time you lose it feels like that much harder to get the next one. We have to just get a win and get that swag back."
Grizzlies at Pistons
Tip-off: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, The Palace, Auburn Hills
Outlook: The Grizzlies probably won't catch the Warriors for the top seed in the West. They, however, have yet to secure the second seed with the Trail Blazers and Rockets right behind them. ... Former Spartans F Zach Randolph returns averaging 16.4 points and 11.2 rebounds.