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Why are Ben's free throws so bad?

Discussion in 'Pistons and NBA' started by BillLaimbeer, May 25, 2006.

  1. BillLaimbeer

    BillLaimbeer All-Star 4x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    This is a good read: http://www.hoopshype.com/columns/ben_hans.htm

    If you don't have a couple of minutes to read it, the basic idea is that Ben's form is terrible. A good shooting coach could certainly help his numbers.

    Ben is currently shooting 22.7% (10-for-44) in the playoffs.
     
  2. ahb

    ahb Bench Warmer

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    Although this guy is something of a self-promoter, it's a very interesting article. I still believe that there's a mental aspect to it - I can't believe that consistent form, however bad, could deliver such wildly inconsistent results - but he could have a point.

    Now that I think about it, his point about free throw accuracy in practice rings true.
     
  3. basketbills

    basketbills All-Star Forum Donor

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    One of the commentators at one point suggested that he would have better luck trying to bank his free throws in. He could probably get some inspiration from Wilt Chamberlain who I believe had his best free throw shooting year (in a notoriously bad ft career) by shooting underhand.

    I've played ball for years with a bunch of yahoos and after every game you typically stop and the losing team shoots to see who will sit. I don't think any of this talentless bunch has ever bricked free throws as bad as Ben does at times. Most could probably stand on their knees on the free throw line and hit more than Ben.

    Is Ben just too stubborn to change his form?
     
  4. ggazoo69

    ggazoo69 All-Star Forum Donor

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    I would venture to say that Ben is so messed up mentally when he strides to the line that things aren't going to get any better for him. Not this postseason. I guess Flip needs to recognize this. Riley said he went to the hack-a-Ben strategy the other night to keep the Pistons from shooting a 3 and getting on one of their patented 3-ball rolls. Pretty smart move.

    Ben doesn't use his legs. Actually, the free throw should almost start with a good bend of the knees and then you rise up on the balls of your feet and release the ball.

    And I'm not sure practicing 100 FTs in a row after a scrimmage is the only way to improve. Seems to me that you need to treat the scrimmage like a real game, call fouls and shoot FTs during the practice.

    I think Ben can improve. First thing he needs to do is get some help from the organization who seem to keep coming up with BS excuses. His FT shooting is an elephant in the room that can't be ignored anymore.
     
  5. ggazoo69

    ggazoo69 All-Star Forum Donor

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    Dumars should put a FT incentive in his contract if it is permissible under the CBA. Sounds like an insult, maybe, to a great defensive player, but I'm tired of watching this guy go "Earl Cureton" up at the line.
     
  6. anakin

    anakin First Round Draft Pick

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    One of the beat writers for the Pistons, can't remember who, said that Ben hit 75% in practice and continually works on it. I have to read the article but I think it's largely mental.
     
  7. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    Ben has no offensive skills. There is a very good reason this marvelous athlete went undrafted, and it starts at his wrists. He has a very heavy touch and his "one-way" hands seem made to grab things rather than release them. You can tell it's in his head, too, because he often overcompensates by trying to shoot too pretty and delicately. Result: 13-foot foul shots. He never does it the same way twice, either. One minute he's toeing the line, the next he's six inches behind it.

    Brain chemistry or something, who knows? Chris Dudley was a Yale graduate, and a self-made NBA player who thrived for many years. If brains and hard work were all it took, he wouldn't have been awful at the stripe.

    Rick Barry has said for years that his underhand style would work for many players, but they would rather miss than be made fun of. I guess that's true.
     
  8. TaS

    TaS All-Star Forum Donor

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    He needs to start going for the bank shot. That way he can shoot harder without needing as much touch. Also, he can substitute backspin for arc. And lastly, his misses will be coming back toward him with topspin. He is bound to get 20% of those rebounds himself. The 20% rebound rate would create extra possessions for the Pistons, where they would average a little more than 1 point. This would boost his eFT% from 40% to 90% (not really).
     
  9. BillLaimbeer

    BillLaimbeer All-Star 4x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    As the article states, anyone can shoot 70-80% when shooting consecutive free throws repetitively.

    When practicing free throws, I recommend that you work in pairs (or groups) and take turns shooting 2 free throws each and rotating. If you are shooting by yourself (even if you have a rebounder), shoot two free throws, walk away from the FT line (outside of the 3-pt line) and come back to the line for your next pair.
     
  10. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    Ben has set records for being such a great rebounder and never averaging double digit scoring in a season.

    All he needed to do last year was pull his FT% up 10 points.

    9.7 PPG, 4.1 FTA per game, shooting 44%, 1.8 FTM per game

    4.1 FTA x 54% = 2.2 FTM per game. Increase of 0.4 PPG

    10.1 PPG streak is over.

    As far as rhythm, Ben is shooting 3.1 less shots per game this year. His FG% is up, but it's hard to score when you shoot less. This year, I don't think he has taken many shots outside of 8 feet. I know his jumper can be ugly, but those games when he would hit one or two seemed to galvanize the team, firing everyone up.

    Btw, his playoff scoring typically goes up.

    He's averaged 10.3 and 10.0 PPG in the last two playoffs, shooting 43% and 46% from the line.

    A lot of stats are down this playoffs. Blocks, FG%, scoring, steals, FT%, PFs. The only positive stats are TOs and Assists.

    Maybe he should play PG (sic).

    All I know is that something is wrong. It's been going on all year. Joe needs to address this in the offseason.
     
  11. SKluck

    SKluck First Round Draft Pick

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    I don't understand why he's never had a shooting "expert" or "coach" or whatever work with him. And why the hell would you not spring for one on A CHAMPIONSHIP team? He already lost a game with the cavs, and it has made a pretty big difference a lot of other times. It's dangerous, he is making 1 FOR 5. 3 possessions and he makes 1. Horrifying.
     
  12. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    There's no reason to think Ben has been neglected by coaches. Some guys collect shooting gurus like Paris Hilton collects boyfriends, but they still stink.
     
  13. professor

    professor Bench Warmer Forum Donor

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    i don't think that form is an issue in this case.

    i do think it's mental. in fact, if his mind is playing any role at all in his ft's he's going to suck. and that's not because ben has a bad mind or something, but because free throw shooting is one of those activities that should be committed to body memory. the point is to have it so grooved into your body that you don't ever think about your free throws. ben is thinking about it AND he doesn't shoot it the same way every time. compare that to rip or chauncey.

    and certainly, i do agree that shooting a zillion of them in a row in practice isn't the way to do it. the point is to shoot a lot of them, but under conditions that approximate those of a game (2 at a time, fatigue, even having something on the line when you're at the line helps -- when i used to coach i used to make the kids run extra if they didn't hit a certain collective percentage of their free throws at the end of practice).
     
  14. TaS

    TaS All-Star Forum Donor

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    I think that there has to be a "physical" problem involved given the percentage of the time that he completely air balls his FTs. In golfing terms, this is not the yips, it's the whiffs.
     
  15. lazyberbs

    lazyberbs First Round Draft Pick

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    Bill Laimbeer, I think you have a point. When I shot free throws lo those many years ago, I tried to not move my feet between them. I figured that if I made the first and did not change my position, I would be set up better for the second.

    But, later I started moving off the line between them so that I had to go through the complete set-up procedure for each one. When I started doing that, my percentage went up dramatically. The pre-shot routine needs to be the same for each FT.

    Walking away between shots might help because of that. The good ones follow the pre-shot routine down to a Tee.
     

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