Welcome to the NBA brick house – built on shaky free throw percentages
On Sunday the Utah Jazz knocked the Los Angeles Clippers out of the playoffs. Gordon Hayward played no small part in dropping 26 points throughout the night. A great performance by the Jazz led to a 13-point win with help from an unlikely source.
Deandre Jordan, a 48 percent free throw shooter, missed nine free throws on the night, no doubt hurting their chances of winning the crucial game seven.
A similar fate befell the Oklahoma City Thunder when Andre Roberson shot 16.7 percent from the free throw line in a much needed game four against the Houston Rockets.
Poor free throw percentages affect many teams in the NBA. In Detroit, Andre Drummond shot a mere 38 percent from the line while Dwight Howard shot 58 percent in Atlanta.
With poor percentages like these around the league and some costing teams crucial games, what can help these players? Former NBA Hall of Famer Rick Barry thought he held the answer.
In a 2012 interview with FOX Sports, Barry offered to help Howard shoot underhanded free throws, vowing to have him up to 80 percent.
Barry, who adopted the form himself, shot 90 percent in the NBA, becoming one of the best to ever step to the line. Houston Rockets rookie Chinanu Onuaku, who shot roughly 50 percent in free throws, recently adopted the unorthodox shooting method, which boosted him to about 70 percent in his limited appearances.
Why don’t more players embrace the chance to improve their poor percentages? Some believe that it’s the fear of being embarrassed by shooting “granny” style. It’s even more embarrassing, however, to throw up two bricks in a crucial moment.
We can only hope that Rick Barry’s son Canyon Barry, who shoots 85 percent from the line, can come into the NBA and remove the ridiculous stigma around the underhanded free throw.