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Brian Shaw tries to improve Nuggets’ free throw shooting by asking team to hit him on the head

Nov 27, 2013, 7:26 PM EDT

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The Denver Nuggets are making 69.9 percent of their free throws. Which is not good, even if there are two teams that are worse (Charlotte and Detroit, thank you Andre Drummond).

Coach Brian Shaw was using his head trying to come up with ways to get the team to shoot better from the stripe, when he decided to use his head literally. From Jeff Caplan of NBA.com via Sulia:

“What I did was I joked with the guys that the safest place in the building to stand when we’re at the free throw line is right underneath the net,” Shaw said. “So I gave everybody on the team basically a chance to shoot a free throw with myself standing under the net with my hands down, where if they made it the ball would hit me on top of the head.”

Guessing Shaw didn’t learn that one from Phil Jackson.

Ty Lawson gets to the line more by far than any other Nugget (7.2 times a game) and has knocked down a respectable 73.4 percent this year. But after that it starts to get ugly with J.J. Hickson at 57.9 percent, Kenneth Faried at 60 percent, Randy Foye at 68.2 percent, and on down the line.

I’m not sure this is something Shaw can fix; it falls more to the Denver front office.

  1. asimonetti88 - Nov 27, 2013 at 9:41 PM

    73.2 percent for Lawson isn’t really all that respectable.. He’s a PG.. Rick Barry always says if you can’t hit at least 80% that’s unacceptable. Can’t disagree. It’s the only completely uncontested no pressure shot you get in basketball. If you can’t hit 80%, you should consider shooting underhanded.

    • homergreenz - Nov 28, 2013 at 9:45 PM

      “Can’t disagree. It’s the only completely uncontested no pressure shot you get in basketball.”

      “Uncontested”, yes, “no pressure”, no.

    • pbtunpaidwriter - Nov 29, 2013 at 5:23 PM

      80% is a lot harder than it looks. NBA players are such good FT shooters that it’s almost expected that all guards shoot 80%. People don’t realize how hard it is to consistently shoot FTs well in game conditions – fatigue, pressure, etc.

      For more perspective just look at college players (guards) shoot FTs. They’re horrendous.

      Mid to high 70s is very respectable with 73 being pretty bad.

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