One of the most improved players in 2017-18, Andre Drummond is looking to show off a new part of his game in 2018-19.
In an interview with theScore, the big man said he's been working on his 3-point shot this summer in the hope that Detroit Pistons head coach Dwane Casey will give him the green light to spend more time on the perimeter this season.
"I don't do stuff (on the court) just to have fun," Drummond told theScore after he was seen shooting 3-pointers at a Team USA practice. "If I'm taking those shots, (it's because) I'm working on it for the upcoming season. Those are shots that I'm gonna be taking.
"I make at least 200 corner 3s every day before I leave the gym," he continued. "I'm getting them up. I'm getting the same shot up over and over again, so I'm getting more comfortable with it. It's been great so far."
Adding a 3-point shot to his game would certainly help a Pistons team that enters the season with a projected starting lineup of Reggie Jackson, Reggie Bullock, Stanley Johnson, Blake Griffin and Drummond. Other than Bullock, who emerged as one of the best spot-up shooters in the league last season, Detroit lacks players who can be counted on to space the floor at a reliable rate for their two All-Stars and Jackson, a dynamic point guard who consistently ranks near the top of the league in drives per game.
Even if Drummond became an average shooter from long range, it would make up for some of the spacing issues that have prevented the Pistons from being a decent offensive team in the past.
The problem is Drummond hasn't shown many signs of being a capable outside shooter in his NBA career. While he's coming off of his most successful season from the free throw line, he's taken a total of 30 3-pointers since he was selected with the No. 9 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft and he's made only 29.1 percent of his field goal attempts from midrange, the bulk of which have come in the form of deep hook shots out of the post, not jump shots.
Most of Drummond's 3-point attempts have been heaves at the end of quarters or with the shot clock winding down, too. There aren't many examples of him taking an in-rhythm 3-pointer in a Pistons uniform, this being one of only a handful:
Of greater concern is that Drummond focusing on shooting more 3-pointers could take him away from what he does best. Would it make him less of a scoring threat on rolls to the basket and the offensive glass? Drummond has made a career out of being one of the best screeners and rollers in the NBA, and he's led the league in offensive rebounds for five straight seasons.
Drummond, however, wouldn't likely go from shooting 0.1 3-pointers per game as he has over the last six seasons to a couple. Under Casey's watch, Toronto Raptors starting center Jonas Valanciunas attempted 1.0 3-pointers per game last season, the most of his career. If Drummond can prove to the reigning Coach of the Year that he has the touch, Casey might just let him shoot the occasional 3-pointer, much like he did with Valanciunas.
Defenders had to at least defend Valanciunas outside of the paint before he ventured out to the 3-point line, but maybe Drummond's improvements as a free throw shooter, plus the confidence he's built up in his jump shot this offseason, is enough for him to begin experimenting with 3-pointers.
Training camp isn't far away, so we'll find out soon.
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