• Andre Drummond’s weakness is well-documented: he just can’t hit free throws. He’s the latest in a long line of dominant big men that struggle from the charity stripe.

    While most just try to improve their stroke and put in hours upon hours of work in empty gyms, all the extra practice in the world doesn’t seem to help in game action. It’s lead to many throwing out the idea of converting to an underhand free throw; Rick Barry shot underhanded back in the day and was 89% from the line. It’s certainly an option but Drummond isn’t having any of it.

    In an interview with Dom Amore of the Hartford Courant, Drummond “dismisses any suggestion he should try shooting [free throws] underhand.”

    “I’m just really just continuing to work on back-to-the-basket stuff and working on getting better from the foul line. I’m going to stick with the formula I have now.”

    That’s all well and good, but the current formula is clicking at 35.5%. If he does improve it’ll be a massive boon to the Pistons; Drummond posted per-game averages of 16.2 points, 14.8 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.4 blocks. His poor free throw shooting led to lots of “Hack-A-Drummond” play from opponents and forced Stan Van Gundy to take him off the floor for stretches of time.

    A lot of players think that the ‘Granny-style’ shot will earn them some healthy ridicule, but it really can’t be worse than shooting sub-40% from the free throw line. Weird looking shots at even 60% seems preferable to traditional looking failure. If Drummond can get to the point where he doesn’t have to be yanked off the floor, he’ll have the last laugh.

    It’s really going to be a matter of when, not if, someone decides to chuck their normal shot in the trash and puts up with the taunting to improve their own game. It’s a wonder that none of the potentially dominant forces have turned to it already because whoever cashes in first stands to benefit in a big way.

Fantasy News

  • Rodions Kurucs - F - Brooklyn Nets

    Rodions Kurucs did not play in Saturday's Game 4 loss to the Sixers.

    The second round rookie started the first three games of the series but was a DNP-CD in this one. We'll see if he can get into Game 5 – or any games after if needed – but there's a chance his season is over. If it's over, it was an impressive first season for the second rounder and the Nets may have a real rotation piece going forward.

  • DeMarre Carroll - F - Brooklyn Nets

    DeMarre Carroll played 21 minutes after being removed from the starting lineup in Saturday's loss.

    Carroll scored two points and missed all six of his shots. He did grab seven boards, including three on the offensive end. With Caris LeVert and Jared Dudley both contributing, Carroll will likely remain on the bench as a small-ball option.

  • JJ Redick - G - Philadelphia Sixers

    J.J. Redick scored 9 points on 3-for-11 shooting in Saturday's Game 4 win.

    Redick came back down from a big Game 3 performance. He did hit a clutch three towards the end of the game to give the Sixers a one-point lead and while it wasn't the difference maker, it was incredibly clutch. He'll need to play well consistently in round two – assuming they get there – if the Sixers want a chance at the conference finals.

  • Ben Simmons - G/F - Philadelphia Sixers

    Ben Simmons scored 15 points with eight boards and eight assists in Saturday's 112-108 win against the Nets.

    Simmons took more of a back seat with Joel Embiid back, as expected. The Sixers ended up eeking out the win in this one and the Jared Dudley/Simmon feud got some more fuel under it. The Sixers are up 3-1, but this series has been incredibly entertaining from the start.

  • Blake Griffin - F - Detroit Pistons

    Blake Griffin (left knee soreness) is feeling "much, much better" according to coach Dwane Casey and is will go through warmups to determine his status for Saturday's game.

    Detroit has not been able to make the first two games of this series competitive and it would make sense for them to let him give it a go for the home crowd. Either way, the Bucks look to be in total control of this series.

    Source: Keith Langlois on Twitter

  • Spencer Dinwiddie - G - Brooklyn Nets

    Spencer Dinwiddie scored 18 points with four boards and one steal in Saturday's 112-108 loss to the Sixers.

    Dinwiddie continues to play well off the bench along with his fellow guards Caris LeVert and D'Angelo Russell. The Nets let this one slip away and will now have to win in Philly to keep their season alive.

  • Jarrett Allen - C - Brooklyn Nets

    Jarrett Allen scored 21 points with seven rebounds, six assists, two steals and one block in Saturday's Game 4 loss to the Sixers.

    Allen had a nice final stat line, but he was getting worked by Joel Embiid all game. He also had a costly turnover at the end of the game when Tobias Harris, Embiid and Ben Simmons trapped in on the block – Harris may have gotten away with a foul.

  • D'Angelo Russell - G - Brooklyn Nets

    D'Angelo Russell scored 21 points with six assists, seven boards, two steals, one block and four 3-pointers in Saturday's loss to the Sixers.

    Russell played well in this game outside of his 2-for-10 shooting on 2-pointers, and even hit a few clutch shots down the stretch. He continues to give the Sixers fits on offense, but the Nets came up just short in this one.

  • Caris LeVert - G - Brooklyn Nets

    Caris LeVert played 42 minutes in Saturday's Game 4 loss scoring 25 points with five rebounds, six assists, one setal and three 3-pointers.

    LeVert was expected to play more in this game after only logging 23.7 minutes per game over the first three. He once again looked healthy and commanded the game at times. After watching today's game you could not have guessed he suffered a gruesome injury earlier this season.

  • Joel Embiid - F/C - Philadelphia Sixers

    Joel Embiid was unstoppable in the Sixers' Game 4 win, posting 31 points, 16 rebounds, seven assists, two steals and six blocks on Saturday.

    Jarrett Allen had absolutely no chance against a one-legged Embiid. He's clearly the best player on the floor in this series and the Nets will have to get creative in defending him, or hope for an injury, if they want any chance at coming down from a 3-1 deficit.