Andre Drummond makes ‘huge improvement’ on free throws

Geoff Robinson
The Detroit News
Andre Drummond

Auburn Hills – There’s been a lot of chatter the last few years about Andre Drummond and whether he would give shooting free throws underhanded a try to improve his dreadful 38.6 career percentage.

Monday night, for the first time since former NBA great Rick Barry retired in 1980, an NBA player attempted underhanded free throws.

Houston had a big lead in its game against Phoenix, and with just under three minutes remaining, Rockets rookie Chinanu Onuaku stepped to the stripe for the first time in his career and made two underhanded free throws.

Stan Van Gundy, who has said in the past that everything was on the table when it came to improving Drummond’s percentage from the charity stripe, said he didn’t think his young star was open to the idea of shooting underhanded.

“Everything was considered,” Van Gundy said Tuesday. “He wasn’t receptive and you don’t really like to do things that guys aren’t receptive to.”

Though Drummond won’t be mistaken for Steve Nash or Reggie Miller at the free-throw line, he’s upped his percentage from last year’s 35.5 to 44.7 this season, despite going 1-for-7 in the win over Cleveland Monday.

“I think the thing that people aren’t giving him enough credit for is he’s made a significant improvement from last year,” Van Gundy said. “He’s up 10 percent. That’s a huge improvement. It’s not where you want it, but expecting him to go from 35 to 60 (percent) right away is an unrealistic expectation.”

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