Why Pro Players Are Good At Free Throws: Basketball 101
It is good to be good at free throws. Free throws are a lot of what separates good basketball players from great ones. A good player can score well and rebound. But if he doesn’t shoot well from the line then his team will suffer. Because that’s where most foul shots come from.
The best shooters in the league have an average percentage of around 75%. Centers, on the other hand, tend to shoot much worse than guards and forwards. They often hover around 60% or even lower depending on how many minutes they play per game.
What is a Free Throw in Basketball?
Free throws are awarded to a player who has been fouled while shooting, and also to a player whose team has been fouled several times in a half. The player taking the free throw must shoot the ball without interference from any players, and if the ball goes through the hoop, the player’s team is awarded one point. If the ball misses the hoop, the opposing team gets possession of the ball.
Free throws are considered a key part of basketball, as they can be crucial in determining the outcome of a close game. Players who are skilled at shooting free throws are often highly valued by their teams, and may spend hours practicing their technique.
The good news is that free throws are usually easy shots. Because you get to shoot them from the same distance as your jump shot. So if you can’t score inside then you won’t be able to make many of these either.
Why are Free Throws Important in Basketball?
Free throws are good but only if you make them. They’re worth one point, and scoring points is the goal of the game. Free throws allow you to score without your opponent being able to stop or block it.
Here are 3 main reasons:
- They are an opportunity to score points: Free throws provide players with a chance to score points without any defensive interference from the opposing team. This can be particularly important in close games, where every point can make a difference.
- They can change the momentum of a game: If a team is trailing in a game and manages to draw fouls and make free throws, they can quickly close the gap in the score and shift the momentum in their favor.
- They are a penalty for fouling: Free throws are awarded to a player who has been fouled by an opposing player. The act of fouling is intended to prevent the opposing team from scoring, so the penalty of awarding free throws helps to discourage excessive physical play.
Can Basketball Players Improve Free Throws? And How?
Basketball players can improve their free throws. Like anything in basketball, the more you practice the better. When shooting a free throw focus on good form and put your mind in the right place. Imagine yourself making it before you do so that when it comes time to shoot, there is no hesitation.
Don’t be hesitant to ask the crowd for silence if they are overly disturbing you while people are talking and applauding around you during a game.
Teammates may not always understand how important this is but as an NBA player, their job is probably already difficult enough without having to worry about whether or not they’ll make all of their shots at some point during a game due to unnecessary noise.
Drills & Excercises
Drills and workouts that enhance muscle memory, such as having players face a wall and repeatedly shoot the ball against it, are an additional effective method for accomplishing this (e.g., using both hands).
Another good way of doing this is by having them practice under pressure: there’s nothing like taking foul shots in front of an audience!
Understand it Better
Proper form and a good understanding of the mechanics behind a free throw are important. For instance, it is usually better to shoot with your strong hand because you have more control over where the ball will go when shooting that way.
Consistency & Accuracy
Drills are a wonderful way to increase accuracy and consistency since practice makes perfect. Even if there are external elements beyond your control, such as the weather or distractions from other people nearby, consistency indicates that you can consistently make them under favorable settings (for example, not while exhausted).
Accuracy relates to how close every shot comes to going inside the net: good shooters aim at specific points on the rim rather than just throwing a basketball towards some point between an imaginary line behind the net and the hoop.
Ask Your Coach
Ask your instructor if there are any drills that can help you become more accurate overall at making shots so that they are effective both within and outside of your typical range.
Remember, once you know what works best for you just keep practicing until everything becomes second nature!
Why NBA Players Miss Free Throws on Purpose
NBA players miss free throws on purpose. This is done by teams with good scorers who are fouled a lot during the game because they are good at making points from foul shots, thus giving them more opportunities to score even if their main shot doesn’t go in.
- Offensive rebound: Sometimes, a player may intentionally miss a free throw in order to give their team a chance to grab an offensive rebound. If the shot misses the rim, it is considered a violation and the opposing team is awarded the ball. However, if the ball hits the rim, the player’s team can attempt to grab the rebound and potentially score another basket.
- Clock management: In situations where a team is leading by a small margin and there is only a few seconds left on the clock, a player may intentionally miss a free throw in order to run down the clock and prevent the opposing team from having a chance to score.
- Strategy: In some cases, a coach may instruct a player to intentionally miss a free throw in order to disrupt the opposing team’s defensive strategy. For example, if the opposing team is focusing their defense on a particular player, intentionally missing a free throw can force the defense to shift their focus and potentially create openings for other players on the team.
Centers are the Worst Players at Free Throws. But Why?
Big men, also known as centers or power forwards, are often statistically the worst at shooting free throws in basketball due to a few reasons:
- Size and body type: Big men are often taller and heavier than other players on the court, which can make shooting free throws more difficult. Shooting requires a high degree of coordination and finesse, and the size and weight of a big man’s body can make it harder to execute a smooth shooting motion.
- Lack of practice: Big men are often tasked with playing a more physical game and are focused on rebounding, setting screens, and defending the basket. This means that they may not spend as much time practicing their shooting, including free throws, as other players on the team.
- Shooting mechanics: Free throws require a specific shooting form that emphasizes accuracy and consistency. Big men may struggle with this form due to their size and strength, which can make it difficult to maintain the proper shooting technique throughout the motion.
- Mental pressure: Free throws are often taken in high-pressure situations, such as late in close games, and big men may feel additional pressure due to their size and role on the team. This can make it harder for them to execute the proper shooting form and can lead to missed shots.
While these factors may contribute to why big men are statistically worse at shooting free throws, it’s worth noting that there are many exceptions to this trend.
Some big men, such as Shaquille O’Neal or Wilt Chamberlain, have been notoriously bad at shooting free throws, while others, such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Dirk Nowitzki, Pau Gasol, and others, have been quite proficient.
Best Free-Throw Shooters in NBA
The best free-throw shooter in the NBA is Stephen Curry. He averages 90.8% on his foul shots for every season he has played so far, which makes him good at making points from them too even if his main shot doesn’t go in.
Steph was good enough to make a record of 402 consecutive free throws between December 2014 and November 2015 without missing any during that time! That’s good because it means you can count on him when there’s pressure or distractions involved while taking a shot whether inside or outside of his normal range.
The second best is Steve Nash who averaged 90.43% for his career in the NBA, good at making points from free throws even if he was not good at scoring inside during his time on court because of being smaller than other players.
Free throw statistics are interesting to track good shooters, but ultimately it can matter more how you handle different circumstances that could have an impact on how well you do when taking a shot!
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