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Andre Drummond airballs two free throws against Bulls

When you've been as good as Andre Drummond has been in two games since returning from injury, even embarrassing mistakes like this one should be overlooked.


Andre Drummond has been fantastic in two games as a starter since coming back from his ... back injury. In just 41 minutes of play, he's snagged 18 rebounds, swiped 2 steals, and swatted 3 shots.

For those keeping score at home, that's 15.8 boards, 1.76 steals, and 2.63 blocks per 36 minutes. And just for kicks, here's a comparison of Ben Wallace's per 36 numbers from 2003-2004 and Andre Drummond's from 2012-2013. Yeah, I went there.

But, he's also 1-7 from the free throw line.

And here are the two worst of those six misses:

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I have no problem with anyone - fan or foe - having a good chuckle about this. I chuckled too, in an affectionate way of course.

What I don't want to happen is for Andre's free throw struggles to get blown out of proportion. Yes, Andre can improve his free throw shooting, and yes, it will help the team if he does. And while it's certainly embarrassing to airball a couple free throws in front of live and television audiences, his true shooting percentage - which takes free throws into account - is still a remarkable 62% in these two games.

Which when coupled with his defense and rebounding means he is still the most effective Piston player on the court in any given moment, as demonstrated by his outstanding Offensive and Defensive Rating overall.

And that actually raises an interesting strategy question: leaving Dre out there in crunch time risks missed free throws, but taking Dre out of the game in crunch time obviously removes his ability to impact the game in all of the important ways that he does, which are all terribly important to winning basketball games.

If you're Lawrence Frank, what do you do?