Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond is running out of options to remedy his uttery misery at the free throw line, but it looks like he is willing to exhaust every last one of them.
In an interview with Keith Langlois of NBA.com on Monday, Drummond revealed that he has turned to virtual reality in an attempt to improve his performance at the charity stripe.
Here is what the process apparently consists of, per Langlois:
Drummond puts on a headset and watches himself making free throws. He can choose a first-person view, where he hears the basketball hitting the court as he dribbles, then sees the ball go over his head, up and into the hoop. Or he can choose third-person perspectives and watch his technique from various angles.
“I’ve been doing it three times every week,” Drummond said. “I have a system (at the team’s Auburn Hills practice facility) and I have one at my house, too. So every day after practice, I’ll go home or watch it here.
“They’re all makes, obviously, so it’s constantly watching myself shoot the same shot, over and over again, and now while I’m out there it’s second nature,” he continued. “I know I’m not going to be able to make every shot and that’s one thing I really had to tell myself. But the more I shoot the same shot, the better chance of making it.”
Anything goes at this point for the All-Star big man, who is a career 38.0 percent free throw shooter and somehow seems to regress every single year (shooting a career-worst 35.5 percent in 2015-16). Drummond and the Pistons have already explored alternate foul line strategies in the past, even including the possibility of having him shoot underhanded a la Rick Barry.
On the semi-bright side, the league continues to expand preventative measures intended to discourage teams from “hacking” Drummond and his fellow free throw ne’er-do-wells like DeAndre Jordan and Dwight Howard. But nevertheless, until Drummond finds a technique that works, virtual reality or otherwise, his near-fatal inadequacies at the line, which often prevent him from being on the court in crucial situations down the stretch of games, will remain a thorn in Detroit’s side.