Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Underhanded Tactics

NBA Players are followers. There only needs to be one player to try something new and if they are sucessful, others will follow. Players never used to work out on gamedays. Until Michael Jordan started to do it. Now you would be hard pressed to find a player who doesn't do it. Players are always looking for that extra edge. A new drill or training technique to put them over the top. They are missing out on the easiest way to improve.

The Underhanded Free Throw.

The last player to do it was Rick Barry. He is also one of the greatest free throw shooters in history. He must have been a real dick, because he didn't inspire anyone else to follow his lead.

A lot of professional basketball players suck at shooting free throws. According to Basketball-reference.com there have been 52 seasons where a player played at least 25 minutes a game, started at least one game and shot 50% and under. That is pretty amazing.

Free throw shooting is a unique skill unlike anything else a player is required to do. They get to stop and relax and attempt their shot from the same exact spot without any distractions on the floor. Yet some of the greatest players in the history of the sport suck at it. Everyone always points to Shaq first. And it is true that he is truly terrible at free throws. He has missed almost 6000 free throws in his career. Wilt, Bill Russell a number of great players have free throw percentages north of 60 percent.

Shaq has such huge hands and long arms and big muscles. He doesn't shoot jump shots. So it isn't like it is going to wreck his shot by changing his shot. Think about how you throw something to someone, you don't do it overhand. You lob it underhand. Notice how alley-oops are are often thrown underhand?
LeBron shot under 70 percent in his third season. Karl Malone shot under 50 percent as a rookie. Scottie Pippen has a career percentage of 70 percent.

Physics proves that players should shoot underhanded. But they think they look like a sissy. They look like complete idiots for not trying something that is proven to work.

Teams should force their players to shoot this way. If you can't prove you are capable of shooting 80 percent overhand, make them to it underhand.

You would think that eventually a player will come along and shoot that way and prove how successful it can be. That player better be well liked because it has already proven successful.

Stupid players.

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