Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Rockets Vocab Word of the Day: "Free Throw Defense."

Shaq doesn't require much Free Throw Defense.

Today's word is "Free Throw Defense."

Definition: A team's collective ability to somehow force the opponent to shoot poorly from the free throw line.

As in "In 2007-2008, the Denver Nuggets led the NBA in Free Throw Defense, holding opponents to a mere 73% from the charity stripe. So the Nuggets do play defense after all."

The Rockets were second in the league in Free Throw Defense last year, and actually led the league in the category during the playoffs. But this year has been a bit different. We're 11th, 10 spots behind the New Look Knicks, and if we want to win more games, we've got to step up our Free Throw Defense. So far, Bill Worrell has been doing his best to help, providing positive stats about opposing players in the hopes that they will miss due to karma. Here's an example from the Oklahoma City Thunder game last night:

Worrell: "Johan Petro actually shot 3/4 from the stripe last night, a good game for him."

(Johan Petro misses both free throws)

Bullard: "Man, Bill, that's some good Free Throw Defense!"

So who sucks at Free Throw Defense? Right now, it's Portland; opposing teams are shooting a silky smooth 82.8% against the Blazers. Cleveland is in second-to-last place, and Dallas and Boston follow.

Does it make any sense? No, but who cares.

1 comment:

  1. SI did a study a few years ago about the Duke students' free throw defense based on the particular defensive strategy employed (jumping up and down, waving, shifting from left to right). They determined that no particular strategy was better than any other except for "Shhh-HEY". All other strategies led to about a 65% FT%, while "Shhh-HEY" was under 50%. I was at Duke in the late 80's when we started this. On the first opponent FT attempt of the night, as the player would walk to the line, the crowd starts shushing each other. All is quiet. Then just before the player releases the ball all shout "HEY" in unison. It was funny to watch the other team react.