I know that headline sounds like pure insanity, but you are going to just have to trust me that it’s true. Well, either that or read this quote from NBA.com’s Jeff Caplan:
“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.”
“At this point I’m trying by any means necessary to get us shooting free throws better,” Shaw said. “The guys who hit me the most — well, Kenneth Faried actually got two hits on me — but the guys that haven’t really had an opportunity to play as much were the ones that were really, really aiming for me.”
I once sat near an old lady at a high school basketball game who repeated the call-and-response “What do free throws do? Win games” over and over like a mantra, and since then, I’ve always kept that in mind. And that’s part of the reason I think this is such a great idea — not only do free throws win games, people also love to embarrass other people. So basically, this is the greatest shooting drill I’ve ever heard of. Who wouldn’t want to bonk their coach in the head after he’s been yelling at them for a month? Exactly.
Plus, as Caplan mentions, the Nuggets are terrible at free throws, currently shooting just 70 percent from the line (27th in the NBA) while taking the sixth-most freebies per game at just a shade over 26 per. That’s quite a few extra points to leave on the table, which is worth mentioning once you consider that the Nuggets already have two losses by two points this season. If I’m Brian Shaw, I’ll take a few basketballs to the dome if it gets my team an extra win here and there. Especially because they’re a strong chance they’re going to miss anyways. Win-win.