Andre Drummond turning to technology to improve free throws

Shooting a dismal 34.7 percent from the line, Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond is the worst free-throw shooter in the entire NBA. Opposing teams routinely take advantage of Drummond's poor free-throw shooting, sending him to the line by intentionally fouling him. This is perhaps the most glaring weakness of Drummond's game and although he continously works on his free-throw shooting, he has made little improvement.

Which may be why the Pistons could be turning to technology to help solve Drummond's free-throw woes. Before playing the Utah Jazz on Monday, Drummond practiced shooting free throws with a shooting sleeve made by a company called SOLIDshot. The sleeve has sensors in it, so when Drummond's deviates from his proper form, it will instantly alert him.

From Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free-Press:

Under the watchful eyes of assistant coaches, Drummond was working on his free-throw shooting.

For Drummond, by far the league’s worst free-throw shooter at 34.7% after Monday night’s 1-for-10 outing in a victory over the Utah Jazz, it’s a scene that’s repeated daily.

Except there was a major difference this time.

For the first time, Drummond was wearing a gray sleeve on his right arm.

The sleeve has sensors that are able to alert the shooter when he deviates from the proper form that has been programmed into the app on a simple smartphone.

...

Van Gundy invited Scooter Barry to present the technology at Sunday’s practice. It provides real-time feedback on the optimal angle and all aspects of free-throw shooting form.

Scooter Barry and Van Gundy confirmed to the Free Press that the company and the Pistons are discussing using the tech to help with shooting mechanics.

“So now he has the feedback that my elbow is creeping out,” Van Gundy said. “That’s why we’re looking at this thing because it can give him more than just keep your elbow in. He can really look and see. So we’ll see if what he’s selling can help.”

Here is a video of how SOLIDshot's technology works:

Players already use wearable technology in practices, which helps teams track movements and fatigue levels. Some teams like the Golden State Warriors even monitor their players' sleeping patterns to ensure that they are getting enough rest. So the Pistons won't be breaking any new ground if they end up parterning with SOLIDshot. But it does speak to the culture Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy is trying to build in Detroit. He is thinking outside of the box to try and make the Pistons an elite team in the East.

It is an innovative technology though and with wearables making an impact on other aspects of players' games, SOLIDshot could, at some point in the future, become commonplace in the NBA. Especially if the Pistons partner with the company and Drummond becomes an improved free-throw shooter. 

The Pistons are thinking outside the box when it comes to Andre Drummond's free-throw shooting.
The Pistons are thinking creatively when it comes to Andre Drummond's free-throw shooting. (USATSI)
CBS Sports Writer

Ananth Pandian has been writing about all NBA-related things including the social and lifestyle aspect of the sport for CBS Sports since 2015. His name is actually easy to pronounce, just remember it is... Full Bio

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