Then at his press conference, the topic of free throws came up. Again. Drummond shot a career-low 35.5 percent on free throws.
That led to 88 times he was hacked last season, according to the numbers kept by the brilliant Kevin Pelton of ESPN. That is 88 times — 80 in the regular season, eight in the playoffs — he was intentionally fouled off the ball to force free throws; that number does not include times he was fouled shooting or in the run of normal play.
At one point in a January game, the Rockets hacked him six straight times to force a dozen consecutive free throws. While the NBA tried to put a band-aid on the issue, the reality is from the Pistons perspective he just needs to knock the free shots down. Not all, just get to 55-60 percent and the hacks go away.
Drummond and coach Stan Van Gundy sounded optimistic about his shot, via Rod Beard of the Detroit News.
I’m going to assume Drummond didn’t go Chinanu Onuaku and start shooting underhand, but maybe he’s found something that works for him. I’m going to sound like a Missourian on this one — show me. I need to see it to buy it.
Just know that he does work on it. During the off-season and in-season. This isn’t a matter of “he should just practice,” that’s a mindless complaint. For the record, DeAndre Jordan puts in the work, too – at every practice, before every game as part of his warmup routine at the arena, Jordan and a Clipper coach work on shots from the stripe. Jordan tries to get into a rhythm (and he hits a better percentage pregame, just based on my eyes). I know Drummond does the same.
We’ll see if Drummond has figured something out.