Minnesota Timberwolves: Nikola Pekovic is still haunting Andre Drummond

Former Minnesota Timberwolves big man Nikola Pekovic consistently dominated Andre Drummond. Perhaps to nobody’s surprise, Big Pek is still haunting him.

From 2005 through 2017, the Minnesota Timberwolves missed the playoffs every single year.

Hulking Montenegrin center Nikola Pekovic suited up for 271 of those games between 2010 and 2016, finding most of his success playing alongside All-Star big man Kevin Love.

For his career, Pekovic averaged 12.6 points and 6.7 rebounds per game, but his peak, from 2012 to 2014, Pek put up 16.9 points and 8.7 rebounds per contest as the Wolves won 31 games in 2012-13 and 40 games in 2013-14 as they made a run at a playoff spot.

In case you’d forgotten, Pekovic completely and utterly dominated a young Andre Drummond. The future All-Star was still a large, athletic presence in the paint, but the brute strength of Pek was too much.

We’ll get to the actual stats in a moment, but first, here’s why the Pekovic vs. Drummond matchup is back in the news.

Yep. The “strongest human I’ve ever played against”, and “the reason I started lifting harder” … all these years later, Drummond is still thinking about how unpleasant those showdowns were.

The Wolves won all five matchups against Drummond’s Detroit Pistons. Pekovic averaged 20.2 points and 8.0 rebounds per game, shooting 48.6 percent from the floor and 79.5 percent from the charity stripe on 7.8 free throw attempts per game.

Drummond? Only 10.2 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. He shot just 3-of-11 (27.3 percent) from the free throw line and committed a whopping 4.8 personal fouls in his five matchups with Pek.

In short, we all remembered this correctly. Nikola Pekovic completely and utterly dominated Andre Drummond, and he apparently still owns some real estate in the now-Cavaliers big man’s head.

Drummond isn’t alone, either. Pekovic’s former teammate, Zach LaVine, said he was afraid to ask Pek for jersey No. 14 when he came into the league. LaVine also shared a story to ESPN’s Zach Lowe about the time he came into the Timberwolves locker room and Pekovic was … boxing.

Of course, everyone knows that Pek was actually an extremely nice guy, and by all accounts his teammates loved him. Unfortunately, foot and ankle issues derailed his career and he was forced to call it quits at the age of 30.

We ranked Pekovic No. 12 on our ranking of the top 30 Wolves players in franchise history. He also landed No. 7 on the list of the best draft picks that Minnesota has made.

Here’s to Pek, and here’s to his lasting dominance over Andre Drummond.