Andre Drummond made 35% of his free throws this season – the worst mark among qualified players in NBA history.
It was no fluke, either. Drummond, a career 38% free-throw shooter, has three of the five worst seasons ever from the line.
How does Drummond fix this?
Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy, via Rod Beard of The Detroit News:
“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 Thursday during the season wrap-up at The Palace.
“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.
“We all know it’s an important thing — Andre more than any of us – he’s pretty open to anything. There’s a lot of ways to attack this problem and we’ll all have a hand in it.”
Rick Barry, who made 89% of his free throws, famously shot them underhanded. So, many fans ridiculously implore any bad free-throw shooter to attempt them underhanded. But Barry probably would’ve converted a high percentage using a traditional technique. Shooting underhanded also doesn’t work for everyone.
But what’s the harm in Drummond trying? It might draw laughs, but so do his horrific misses now – and those too often place him on the bench in crunch time.
New rules on intentionally fouling might limit Drummond’s exposure, but he’ll still have to attempt some free throws. Could he really be worse underhanded?
Maybe. But if he’s willing to put his pride aside, it’s probably worth finding out.