The Detroit Pistons’ Andre Drummond had his best NBA season thus far, where he scored more points and grabbed more rebounds than any of his previous seasons. However, his free throw shooting percentage this season was the worst out of all the seasons he has been in the league. He only averaged an abysmal 35.5 percent, and according to his coach, Stan Van Gundy, Drummond is willing to do anything to increase that number.
Speaking to The Detroit News on Thursday during the season wrap-up at The Palace, Van Gundy said that Drummond is considering the underhand free-throw –which was popularized by Rick Barry in the 70s— but says there aren’t any guarantees that it will be used next season. He also added that he’ll have to do some research first, and will have to talk to Drummond about it again.
“As far as shooting underhand or anything else, it’s fair to say my discussion with Andre yesterday and the discussions Jeff and I have had and staff — everything is on the table,” Van Gundy said.
“It won’t be a unilateral decision; we’ll do some research on some things and come up with what we think is a good approach, talk to Andre and see what he thinks and develop an approach going forward.
The Detroit Pistons made their first playoff appearance since 2008-09 this season and much of it had to do with Drummond’s improvement. However, there were many close games (the first round of the Cavaliers vs. Pistons, for example) where Drummond had to be benched because the opposing team employed the “Hack-A-Drummond” strategy. According to Van Gundy, this is one of the reasons why Drummond is so keen on fixing his free throw form. He also added that the center is very open-minded to new approaches.
“The one good thing about this season was it was the first time people used that strategy against him extensively,” Van Gundy said. “He’s very motivated and very open-minded in terms of approaches. It’s something he wants to get solved; he doesn’t like being on the bench for that reason.”
Do you think Drummond can fix his free throw form this off-season? Or will he be like Wilt Chamberlain and experiment with new forms for the rest of career? Share your thoughts in the comments below.