Oh, man, it's really great to have Andre Drummond back. After missing 22 games with a stress fracture in his lower back, the rookie big man returned to the Detroit Pistons' lineup this weekend. While it didn't lead to a reversal of Detroit's fortunes — they lost to both the Toronto Raptors and Chicago Bulls, wrapping up a dismal 1-13 month of March — the 19-year-old giant at least offered Pistons fans something to be psyched about, showcasing some of the explosiveness and athleticism that made him one of the team's few true bright spots prior to his injury. It was a nice reminder of the kind of thing that you might tend to forget after a player spends nearly two months on the shelf.
Unfortunately, during the fourth quarter of Sunday's game against the Bulls, we were also reminded of something else we might have forgotten ... just how bad Andre is at the charity stripe. Check out the rook's poor form as captured by our pals at the Yahoo! Sports Minute:
Woof. Pulled the string a bit there, eh, Andre?
Drummond's back-to-back airballs came in the midst of a Chicago run that turned the tide of a game that Detroit had led virtually throughout. After the misses, Nate Robinson fed Luol Deng for a layup that capped an 8-0 spurt and gave the Bulls an 80-78 lead, their first advantage since early in the first quarter; behind a strong fourth quarter from Deng (13 of his game-high 28 points and four rebounds in the frame), they held on for a 95-94 win that put them percentage points ahead of the Atlanta Hawks for the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference.
Drummond finished the game 0 for 3 from the line, and went 1 for 7 from the stripe over the weekend. He's now 43 for 122 on the season — that's 35.2 percent, which is a little more than 40 percent below league-average among NBA players this season, according to Hoopdata. (He also had eight points, 14 rebounds, two assists and a block in 22 1/2 minutes, and was a +11 in a game his team lost by one, which is why we're still so entranced by him.)
Oh, well. At least we know one thing the young Mr. Drummond will be spending some time working on this offseason.
If the clip above isn't rocking for you, please feel free to check out the misses elsewhere, thanks to Jett Lopez.