Though swept in four games, the Detroit Pistons were a lot closer to upsetting Cleveland in the first round of the playoffs than the final tally indicated. At the very least, the Pistons could have made the series closer by winning a couple of games. In fact, the Pistons would be the first to tell you they should have won at least a couple of games.
Free throws can be critical in close games like those, but Detroit big man Andre Drummond was an abysmal 11-of-34 from the stripe in the series (32.4 percent). For the season, Drummond shot 35.5 percent from the line, which is historically bad.
When asked about his free-throw shooting after Sunday’s game — specifically, if he needed to improve on it — Drummond didn’t exactly want to provide an answer. Rather, Drummond insisted the answer itself was obvious.
Was it obvious? Sure, but it’s still a question that needed to be asked. Drummond was understandably upset and there’s nobody who feels worse about going 32 percent from the line than him. At the same time, it’s a fair question.
To be clear, Drummond’s poor free throw shooting wasn’t the reason Detroit was swept, but it’s perfectly reasonable to say it contributed to the losses. And he was going to be asked about it.