That’s been a hot debate for some time now, and there have been different views from personnel from around the league about what needs to be done.
The issue is this: are there enough bad free throw shooters to warrant some kind of rule change? When you think of the worst offenders from the line, three names immediately come to mind: Andre Drummond, Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan. With most bad free throw shooters, you can simply take them out of the game if the opposition elects to foul them intentionally to disrupt the offense. With the three above, though, there’s a tough choice to make because of the overall impact they have on the floor. Often times, the coaches choose to keep them on the floor and hope for the best.
And that’s when things get ugly because nobody wants to watch a free throw contest.
Unfortunately for anyone who was tuning into the game between the Houston Rockets and Detroit Pistons on Wednesday, history was made when Drummond missed 23 free throws and took 28 attempts in the second half – no one has ever done either of those things in a single game. Overall, he took an incredible 36 free throws and converted on just 36.1 percent of them as he continued to make his case to be the worst free throw shooter of all-time. What’s even more amazing is that percentage wise, what he did against the Rockets was actually slightly better than the 35.4 percent he is averaging on the season.
The good thing about it is that the Detroit Pistons still won the contest 123-114. Drummond was happy about the win and appeared to accept the fact that some teams are going to go with the method as long as he continues to miss free throws at a historic rate:
— Andre Drummond (@AndreDrummondd) January 21, 2016
For entertainment purposes, it’s a problem any time a game goes into a free throw contest because that’s not what fans are paying to see. Unfortunately, it’s no one’s fault but the players’ inability to hit the free throws and rules can’t be bent because they’re terrible at what they do. The coaches absolutely have the right to exploit it as a weakness and no one knows that better than J.B Bickerstaff, who regularly sees Howard go through the same thing.
The good thing is that Hack-A-whoever doesn’t usually happen or last for long unless Howard, Drummond or Jordan are playing. As Drummond said, it is what it is.
Jim Park is a blogger and Tweet of the Night author of Sheridan Hoops. Follow him on twitter @SheridanBlog.