Friday, June 12, 2009

The Best Thing You'll Read All Day About Free Throws

I'm kicking myself right now. Earlier today, I shit you not, I had a conversation with a co-worker about how ridiculous it is that big men can't shoot free throws. In essence, I said they use it as a crutch that they aren't expected to be good free throw shooters when in reality, there's no reason they shouldn't be able to make them. Yao and Dikembe and a slew of other big men did it well. Why can't everyone?

Well, Ashton Burton wrote about that every topic, and he did it much better than I ever could have. Read it:

NBA big men are traditionally below-average free throw shooters, and while you can chalk that up to hand size, range of motion in the shoulders or whatever, I think it’s really just because nobody expects them to be that good. From the time they’re in high school, they don’t practice free throws as much as a guard would practice. If you’re getting tough buckets in the paint, winning your team extra possessions by battling for rebounds, and blocking a couple shots on top of that, it may seem like a lot to ask to also turn into Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf from 15 feet away. But because every big man can point to Wilt Chamberlain and say, “He only shot 51 percent from the line,” it’s acceptable to perform at a lower standard than other players.

So why should he be held to a lower level of expectation than the Nick Andersons, Darius Washingtons and Derrick Roses of the game? If any perimeter player bricked those FT’s in Game 4 — and Lord help us all if it were LeBron or Kobe — nobody could “live with” those misses.

Amen, brother. It makes me so mad that professional players, who play basketball for hours every single day, can't make uncontested shots from 15 feet away, no matter what size. Minimum, every player in the NBA should be a 70 percent free throw shooter. Minimum. That's not too much to ask for someone who shoots free throws literally every fucking day. Stop using the big man with big hands excuse and just practice them. Refine your shot. Get it down. Free throws are all repetition and rhythm. There's no excuse to be terrible from the line. None.

BallHype: hype it up!


  1. shoot underhand if you have to

  2. Amen, my brother.

    During one of the games, JVG told Mark Jackson he'd never seen Friday. Someone else from ESPN said they'd never seen it either. Unacceptable, I know.