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Old 07-07-2008, 03:12 PM   #1
Truck
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Question Shooting free throws - skill or luck?

If a player does everything within his power to make a free throw, but occasionally misses, I can't figure out any reason other than that he was just unlucky in the event he misses one.

Is there some other reason - assuming he does everything within his power - why a player would miss a free throw?
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Old 07-07-2008, 03:14 PM   #2
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Default Re: Shooting free throws - skill or luck?

law of percentages.....
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Old 07-07-2008, 03:15 PM   #3
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Default Re: Shooting free throws - skill or luck?

I'd say skill and mental toughness. I think people usually miss because they messed up something in their form or mechanics when they shoot.
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Old 07-07-2008, 03:16 PM   #4
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Default Re: Shooting free throws - skill or luck?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Truck
If a player does everything within his power to make a free throw, but occasionally misses, I can't figure out any reason other than that he was just unlucky in the event he misses one.

Is there some other reason - assuming he does everything within his power - why a player would miss a free throw?

Just a miscue or a mistake. Maybe the ball rolls off your fingers wrong, comes out of your hands too early, your timing is off, it slips. Definitely mistakes, some of which are (a lot of the time) caused by the pressure of an NBA arena and the situation. Thats why someone like Shaq makes 75% of his free throws in practice and hits 50% in a game, or why a lot of guys will make 50 straight free throws in practice with ease, but not even close to that in an NBA game.
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Old 07-07-2008, 03:16 PM   #5
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Default Re: Shooting free throws - skill or luck?

There is no such thing as being "unlucky" as far as free throw shooting goes. Not inside a gym.
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Old 07-07-2008, 03:17 PM   #6
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Default Re: Shooting free throws - skill or luck?

the free throw is the most basic shot and the definintion of a players shooting ability, it is never BAD LUCK that a player misses a free throw, it is good luck when a player throws the ball in the general direction of the basket and it goes in, but there is no such thing as a lucky free throw
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Old 07-07-2008, 03:19 PM   #7
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Default Re: Shooting free throws - skill or luck?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chocogrease
I'd say skill and mental toughness. I think people usually miss because they messed up something in their form or mechanics when they shoot.
So would that be bad luck or poor skill?
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Old 07-07-2008, 03:19 PM   #8
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Default Re: Shooting free throws - skill or luck?

Concentration. Mental toughness. Clutchness. Maybe tired muscles tightening up, but mostly it's a mental thing. Look at Chucky Hayes' FTs, that can't be bad luck or lack of skills alone.
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Old 07-07-2008, 03:20 PM   #9
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Default Re: Shooting free throws - skill or luck?

Quote:
Originally Posted by One of Shemps Kids
Just a miscue or a mistake. Maybe the ball rolls off your fingers wrong, comes out of your hands too early, your timing is off, it slips. Definitely mistakes, some of which are (a lot of the time) caused by the pressure of an NBA arena and the situation. Thats why someone like Shaq makes 75% of his free throws in practice and hits 50% in a game, or why a lot of guys will make 50 straight free throws in practice with ease, but not even close to that in an NBA game.
Good points. But everyone has a percentage in every situation. If your percentage is 83.33% (or 5 out of 6), wouldn't taking a free throw be the same as rolling a dice and hoping it doesn't land on one?
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Old 07-07-2008, 03:23 PM   #10
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Default Re: Shooting free throws - skill or luck?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LJJ
There is no such thing as being "unlucky" as far as free throw shooting goes. Not inside a gym.
Let's say your percentage when shooting inside a gym is 95%. That means one out of 20 you're going to miss. Now let's assume every time you shoot, you do everything within your power to make the shot. So when you miss, you were still doing everything within your power to make the shot. Therefore, the reason for missing must have been something you had no control over. That's why I suggest it's luck. If it's not luck, then what is it?
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Old 07-07-2008, 03:24 PM   #11
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Default Re: Shooting free throws - skill or luck?

Quote:
Originally Posted by doinitbig06
the free throw is the most basic shot and the definintion of a players shooting ability, it is never BAD LUCK that a player misses a free throw, it is good luck when a player throws the ball in the general direction of the basket and it goes in, but there is no such thing as a lucky free throw
Then why, if the player does everything within his power to make the free throw, does he occasionally miss? It's something that he doesn't have any control over. If that's not luck, then what is it?
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Old 07-07-2008, 03:29 PM   #12
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Default Re: Shooting free throws - skill or luck?

you can't compared shooting straight at practice to game situations because of fatigue and rhythm. but mainly, it's rhythm, when you're at practice, you've already been warming up to establish rhythm, so you already got the sense of the basket and have established recent muscle memory. plus, your legs aren't moving anywhere (to get the ball if someone is rebounding for you). so all the movements quickly become a consistently familiar routine after only the initial adjustments. add the mental aspect of the game, and of course, % depreciates. there's just no way for the person to shoot better or same % during the game than how he'd shoot in practice. EVERYBODY shoots better in practice. even larry bird. he was a 90% FT shooter in the game, but he'd probably sink a couple hundred in a row in practice if he wanted to.

Last edited by DCL : 07-07-2008 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 07-07-2008, 03:33 PM   #13
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Default Re: Shooting free throws - skill or luck?

how is it luck? dats ludacris

its skill
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Old 07-07-2008, 03:34 PM   #14
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Default Re: Shooting free throws - skill or luck?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DCL
you can't compared shooting straight at practice to game situations because of fatigue and rhythm. but mainly, it's rhythm, when you're at practice, you've already been warming up, so you already got the sense of the basket and have established recent muscle memory. plus, your legs aren't moving anywhere (to get the ball if someone is rebounding for you). so all the movements quickly become a consistently familiar routine after only the initial adjustments. add the mental aspect of the game, and of course, % depreciates. there's just no way for the person to shoot better or same % during the game than how he'd shoot in practice. EVERYBODY shoots better in practice. even larry bird. he'd probably sink a couple hundred in a row in practice if he wanted to.
My question isn't why a player's % is typically lower in a game than in practice. It's about whether or not luck is involved when he occasionally misses a shot when he does everything in his power to make the shot.
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Old 07-07-2008, 03:35 PM   #15
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Default Re: Shooting free throws - skill or luck?

Quote:
Originally Posted by danumber88
how is it luck? dats ludacris

its skill
As I indicated earlier, if your % is 83.33% - assuming you do everything in your power to make the free throw - then how would going to the line be any different than tossing a die and hoping it doesn't land on 1?
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