Andre Drummond has been increasingly talking about adding jump shots to his game over the past couple of weeks, most notably in an article from Rod Beard in The Detroit News.
In the article, Drummond said, “That’s something I’ve worked on all season behind closed doors, taking my time to critique it, perfect it and next season, I should be shooting them consistently. Going into year seven of my career, it’s time I expand my game; the game has changed each year.”
He’s continued to push the jump shooting line, today posting on his Instagram story clips of him running jump shot drills.
Andre Drummond is working on his jump shot pic.twitter.com/Mn4aALP8Y9— Pistons Play (@PistonsPlay) March 26, 2018
Ok. Let’s just start with the obvious. Before this season, Drummond was the worst free throw shooter in the history of the game.
And the midrange jumper is one of the least efficient shots in the game even for those who are good at them. Only four qualifying players in the league are shooting above 50 percent from midrange.
So it’s not a good shot and not a shot that this particular player needs to be taking. That’s pretty basic, right?
In theory, the shot Drummond is talking about in the Beard article were ones he had taken in a couple of games earlier this month.
Those certainly look reasonable. But the huge red flag waving on this issue is that Drummond has always struggled with shot selection, particularly going back to the post up heavy days. For every pretty post up hook, there’d be a nice big pile of ugly, terrible possessions. In the whole, it left Drummond as one of the most inefficient chuckers in the league.
By adding a jumper, we’d be watching him wade back into those waters. Like with the post ups, there are far more examples suggesting this is a terrible idea than those two clips in its favor.
The issue with shot selection has been back this season. Despite cutting out the mass post up attempts, his field goal percentage is actually lower than last year. This has mostly been on the back of the Blake Griffin trade, as his field goal percentage has been 49 percent after shooting 55 percent before the trade.
With Blake taking a larger role in the offense and Drummond’s chance to serve as a facilitator diminished, he’s been forcing more shots and his efficiency has suffered.
This discouragement of Drummond’s work ethic - with his rise in his free throw shooting this year, that doesn’t come without plenty of work. But it is a knock against his decision making and discipline. Drummond is finally back to average efficiency after three straight seasons of being extremely inefficient play. Going back to those days would be a huge blow to his contributions as a player.
Stan Van Gundy was diplomatic of Drummond talking about taking jumpers, but is not encouraging it. He said, “It’s not a high priority, but I think the more he can catch the ball in that short area on the roll, it’s good. He’s trying to make some progress, but it’s certainly not the highest priority. The more would be his shot and his jump hook around the rim, getting a little more efficient there.”
When it comes to incorporating new aspects to a player’s game, it’s best when it’s driven by making decisions based on making the most of that player’s abilities - not when it’s driven on just wanting to do something.
We’ll see if this ever turns into anything more on the court. It’ll likely be next season before we’d see much of it, though it’s also possible that as the season winds down he starts looking for his chances during games. But hopefully this is something that just remains a theory.