Shooting Free Throws


Free throws are a free shot.  No one is guarding you.  I cannot for the life of me understand why free throw percentages are so low.  They don’t call it the charity stripe for nothing.  If you are a D1 College player, or a player in the NBA I don’t see any reason why your free throw percentage should be less than 70%.  Last year in the NCAA tourney, I finally saw Lonzo Ball play.  He had great court sense and could handle and distribute the ball.  He could jump.  He looked like he could play defense.  But, he couldn’t throw a ball in the ocean.

The Armo Trader went to UCLA and told me that one game wasn’t enough.  He was right.  I watched a couple of NBA games this year and the kid cannot shoot.  Ball has played almost half a season.  The jump from college hoops to the NBA is massive, and even tougher on someone his age.  I looked at his stats.  He is shooting 48% from the line, 35% from the field, and 30% from the 3 point line.  That’s terrible.  Heck, my high school team shot 77% from the line as a team.  This isn’t rocket science free throws are easy.  The line is 15 feet away from a 10-foot basket no matter what level or where you play.

I looked at Magic Johnson’s stats. In his rookie year he shot 53% from the field, 81% from the line and 23% from the three-point line. Jason Kidd is often referenced when people talk about Ball. As a rookie, Kidd shot 38% from the field, but 70% from the line. He was horrible from the three-point line at 27%. For his career, Kidd shot 78.5% from the free throw line.

I could teach anyone to shoot free throws.  It’s all about ritual, mental preparation and then mechanics.  I used to practice them a lot.  It was meditative.  Still is when I get the chance to shoot them.

  • Isn’t it in the stillness of the situation (free throw line, 20k fans, own thoughts) that causes players to shoot woefully worse than we’d expect?

  • 1940Kaszycki

    I don’t understand why everyone high fives players when they MISS a free throw. Also, it seems like media and even coaches tolerate this. Much like when MLB players no longer run out grounders and style on long fly balls that don’t leave the park and the player is held to a single.