Andre Drummond's No. 1 goal this offseason is to improve his free-throw shooting.
He shot a pitiful 35.5 percent from the line this season and further regressed in the playoffs, shooing 32.4 percent in Detroit's first round matchup against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Drummond's free-throw shooting is so bad that Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy has to pull him from the lineup when teams start to foul him intentionally. This really angered Van Gundy throughout the playoffs, which is why he suggested that Drummond shoot his free throws underhanded next season.
Shooting free throws underhanded is a radical approach, yet Van Gundy is open to literally anything when it comes to improving Drummond's shooting from the charity stripe. Underhanded free throws may not be as radical as virtual reality, which Van Gundy says Drummond may also experiment with.
Should he try shooting underhand?
Everything's on the table, whether it's some things we can do with visual imagery, some virtual reality stuff, changing dramatically how you shoot the ball -- it's all on the table. Andre would tell you the same thing. Over the next couple of weeks, we're gonna get together as a staff, talk to some outside people, and sit down with Andre to see where his head is. For it to be any good, you have to have buy-in from him.
Virtual reality has come a long way since the days of Johnny Mnemonic and has practical applications in the sports world. And not just on the fan side. The Washington Wizards work with a company called Strivr to use virtual reality to train their players. So the Pistons won't be doing anything ground-breaking if Drummond uses VR to improve his free-throw stroke. Also, the Pistons have already begun using wearable technology to help Drummond this season, working with a company called SOLIDshot to track his makes during practice.
Detroit is clearly embracing the future and remains committed to helping Drummond improve from the free-throw line. It may be innovative but it also shows how invested they are in Drummond, who was an All-Star for the first time this season and at just 22 years old, will only get better.