Video: Pistons’ Andre Drummond airballs back-to-back free throws
By Ben Golliver
Last week, The Point Forward gave Pistons center Andre Drummond an “A-” for his rookie season, one of the top grades earned by any member of the 2012 draft class. It goes without saying, though, that Drummond — a 35.2 percent free throw shooter this season — has earned an “F” at the foul line.
The charity stripe struggles hit a new low on Sunday night, when Drummond airballed back-to-back free throws during a 95-94 loss to the Bulls in Chicago. With 9:05 remaining in the fourth quarter and the score knotted at 78, Drummond stepped to the line for a pair. His first try was so short that it hit absolutely nothing, not even the outside of the net. Despite some words of encouragement and hand-slaps from his teammates, Drummond’s second try also fell well short, although it did graze the net during its early descent.
Somewhat incredibly, Drummond’s free-throw shooting in the pros has actually been a step up from his one season with the UConn Huskies, where the seven-footer connected on just 29.5 percent of his foul shots.
Drummond, 19, finished with eight points and a game-high 14 rebounds in 23 minutes. He made just his second career start in his second game back after missing roughly six weeks with a back injury.
The good news for Drummond: This arguably wasn’t the worst airballing exhibition in a Pistons game this season. In February, Nets forward Mirza Teletovic airballed three consecutive jumpers in less than 40 seconds during Brooklyn’s 93-90 win. Some more good news: Drummond continues to lead all rookies with a Player Efficiency Rating of 22.6.
Chicago, the Eastern Conference’s No. 5 seed, improved to 40-32. Detroit dropped to 24-50 with its third straight loss.