There’s absolutely no doubt that the Detroit Pistons have a phenomenal talent on their hands in Andre Drummond, their first round selection in the 2012 NBA Draft. Many teams were skeptical of taking Drummond because of a perceived case of apathy and a lack of work ethic from Drummond, but the young center showed that was far from the truth in his rookie season.
Though Drummond missed almost one-fourth of the season due to injuries, he was phenomenal in the time that he played. In 60 games he averaged 13.8 points, 13.2 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 2.8 blocks per 36 minutes last season while shooting a phenomenal 60.8 percent from the floor. To put that season into perspective, the only player in NBA history to average more than 13 points, 13 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per 36 minutes in his rookie season was Shaquille O’Neal in the 1992-1993 NBA season (though Shaq did average 22.2 points per 36 minutes, dwarfing Drummond’s numbers).
However, there was a notable and glaring flaw in Drummond’s game last season: his free-throw shooting. Last year Drummond shot an absolutely atrocious 37.1 percent from the free-throw line. Drummond was so awful from the charity stripe last season that he even prompted ESPN True Hoop blogger Ethan Sherwood Strauss to suggest Drummond shooting his free throws underhanded.
Strauss actually offered a thoroughly convincing argument to Drummond in the piece, noting that it would give him a signature for the fans to get behind along with possibly improving his overall effectiveness.
It doesn’t seem that Drummond is buying it, though. One day after Strauss posted the piece, Drummond responded to the plea with this tweet:
Let me make this clear…. I’m not shooting free throws underhand.. #Relax
— Andre Drummond (@DRE_DRUMMOND_) August 17, 2013
Underhanded free throws were an effective tool for old-school players, most notably Rick Barry way back in the day. With Drummond just going into his second NBA season, it’s understandable if he wants to work out his issues at the line with a normal shooting stroke. However, if the problem continues after a couple of years, he should reconsider the underhanded technique.