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Random hypothetical about our sub-par FT%

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by forty4487, Jan 31, 2014.

  1. forty4487

    forty4487 Contributing Member

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    With a 3 day lull and a vacation visiting family, I have very little to do with my time, but the season trend of our absolutely abhorrent free throw shooting made me somewhat curious to where we might be if we shot free throws at the league average. Not a great FT%, just an average one...

    Now, I completely concede that all of these numbers are purely theoretical hindsight. If we made our free throws we alter the score of the game, change the balance of who is in the lead, and cause the opponents to shift their play, so nothing this general said in reflection can REALLY be that meaningful. However, for just basic observation of one of our clear weaknesses where you can remove the most factors out of the equation (no defense, just a single player shooting free throws), I figured I'd play a what if game...

    FT%'s
    league avg .754
    houston avg .686

    Lakers @ Rockets Nov 7th
    FT%: 33 / 52 = 63.5%
    Final Score: 99-98 Lakers

    If we shot FT at league average:

    52 * .754 =~ 39pts (+6pts)
    Rockets win 105-98


    Rockets @ 76ers Nov 13th
    16 / 25 = 64%
    1 FTA in OT, remove that for regulation
    15/24 = 62.5%
    Final Score: 123-117 76ers in OT

    If we shot FT at league average:

    24 * . 754 =~ 18pts (+3pts)
    Rockets win 109-106



    Kings @ Rockets Dec 31st
    21 / 33 = 63.6%
    Final Score: 110-106 Kings

    If we shot FT at league average:

    33 * .754 =~ 24pts ( +4pts)
    Tie game, goes to OT… MORE HARDEN ISO FOR YOUR MONEY


    Grizzlies @ Rockets Jan 24th
    9 / 14 = 64.3%
    88-87 Grizzlies

    If we shot FT at league average:

    14 * .754 =~ 10pts ( +1pt )
    Tie game, goes to OT …


    For arguments sake, let's just say we won both games in OT. That's +4 wins for the Rockets. That would take our record of 31-17 to 35-13 (.729). We would be #2 in the West right now.

    I know, I know; there are way too many what ifs to these games. The kings were destroying us in the 4th (30-20), so the momentum wasn't going the Rockets way if we got into overtime and we blew several attempts to take the lead against the Grizzlies in the 4th. However, all of these games would have been a lot closer and potential Rockets victories if we took care of business during what is the easiest offensive possession in basketball (free throws).
     
    2 people like this.
  2. Voice of Aus

    Voice of Aus Contributing Member

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    Way if the team we were playing shot better at the free throw line aswell?
     
  3. AFS

    AFS Member

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    Interesting hypo. Unfortunately, these are just the operating costs in exchange for Dwight Howard.
     
  4. forty4487

    forty4487 Contributing Member

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    unfortunately, he's not the only one shooting terribly. Harden, Lin, Bev, Brooks are the only ones on our team shooting better than the average. Howard might get the volume, but the rest of the team isn't helping out at all. .590 from Jones (117 FTA, 17pts lost), .725 from Parsons (142 FTA, 2pts lost), .679 from Casspi (81 FTA, 5pts lost), .553 from DMo (38 FTA, 7pts lost). That's pretty pathetic.

    Granted... Howard's is insane. 96pts lost. Howard's missed free throws to the league average would win in a head to head against the Grizzlies... I mean, I understand that if he actually made them at that clip, he would never get to the line that often, but holy **** that's crazy.
     
  5. forty4487

    forty4487 Contributing Member

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    Well.. unless it's the Pistons, they're already shooting better than us. If you're going to look into that though it just unravels the hypothetical to a chaotic what if. Like I said, the hypo is pointless because making FTs are not in a void, there are consequences to making them. That's why I chose to only lift the percentages to the very middle of the NBA and not to the elite top 5.
     
  6. zdrav

    zdrav Member

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    For such a good sniper, Parsons is an inexplicably a bad FT shooter. Maybe his flat no-arc shooting style doesn't translate well to FTs.
     
  7. conquistador#11

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    I think we shoot a low % from the line because our worst ft shooter gets to the line at such a high rate. (insert clyde's giggle)
     
  8. PhiSlammaJamma

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    Given that we are generating the most FT attempts of all the playoff teams by far, I just look at it totally differently. As long the team we are playing have a FG percentage below our FT%, we have in general I would think the scoring advantage.
     
  9. kaitanuva

    kaitanuva Member

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    We have only 3 players on our team who can shoot 80% or better and plays big minutes: Beverley, Harden, Lin. It's not good.
     
  10. RocketsJumer

    RocketsJumer Member

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    What about those times we shot better than league average? I know it's a rare occur acne but we could have lost some games if we shot league average. Just trying to look at the other side. Maybe too confusing to think about it.

    Anyway, this team really shouldn't be this horrible from the foul line. Of course, Howard's percentage and bulk of the attempts would hurt any team average but even then, we should be at least a 72% free throw shooting team. After Howard, the guys that take the most free throws after him you would think are good free throw shooters, guys like Harden, Parsons and Lin. It's puzzling.

    I remember a picture someone posted of the Lakers' free throw shooting in practice versus the game. I hink they were like an 87% free throw shooting team in practice compared to being the last free throw shooting team in the league during the game. I would be interested to see the numbers for the Rockets in practice.

    But we can't hope to be a sub 70% free throw shooting team come playoff time. Close games are usually won at the free throw line. Anymore points you can get to maintain, push or even cut a lead is huge.
     
  11. Ziggy

    Ziggy QUEEN ANON

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    We make more free throws (that's free points people) than any other team in the NBA.

    I'd rather make 22 free throws than go 18.5/18.5 at the line (18 is about the league average for FT's made) while shooting 100%.

    We win.

    There is no free throw problem.

    Terrell Brandon shot like 95% at the line. But he never got to the damn line. Does a tree falling in the forest make a sound?
     
  12. kaitanuva

    kaitanuva Member

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    Many of these "free points" are at the expense of lost offensive possessions because of Hack-A-Dwight.
     
  13. basketballholic

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    Going back to the 1976 NBA/ABA merger:

    Only 4 teams have won an NBA Championship shooting below 70% from the free throw line. They were the Shaq-led three-peat Laker champions from 2000 through 2002 and the Twin Towers (David Robinson and Tim Duncan) led San Antonio Spurs team in 1999 who won the championship during that 50-game strike-shortened season.

    Delving back into the ancient days of the NBA and ABA, no other team won a championship shooting less than 70% from the free throw line going back to the first year of the NBA in 1950 EXCEPT for one team, the 67 Wilt Chamberlain led Philadelphia 76ers.

    So, in simple terms, less than 11% of NBA championship teams have won a championship in the modern era while shooting less than 70% from the line. Here's each of their FT%:

    02 Lakers 69.9%
    01 Lakers 68.3%
    00 Lakers 69.6%
    99 Spurs 69.8%

    Here's the pre modern-era team to do it:
    67 Sixers 68%

    The four highest free throw shooting percentages of championship teams of the modern era are as follows:

    86 Celtics 79.4%
    84 Celtics 79.2%
    87 Lakers 78.9%
    88 Lakers 78.9%

    The average free throw shooting percentage of all modern era NBA champions (post merger) is 74.72%. When you take out the anomalies (4 highest and 4 lowest) the average free throw shooting percentage of the remaining modern era NBA champions (post merger) is 74.86%.

    The next lowest free throw shooting percentage championship team of the modern era? The 06 Miami Heat team who shot 70% (Dwayne and Shaq).
    So 4 of the 5 lowest free throw shooting percentage NBA champions of the modern era had a common theme....Shaq.

    So...unless you think Dwight is as dominant as Shaq and Wilt or you think our defense is as dominant as the Twin Towers Spurs team of 1999 that literally choked out everybody for 50 games, we have virtually no chance of winning a ring this year.

    And if you are realistic and realize that Dwight is neither Shaq nor Wilt nor is our defense anywhere close to being the choke out defense that the 99 Spurs were, then you realize that the next lowest free-throw shooting percentage to win a championship outside of Shaq-led teams or the special 50 game strike-shortened season of 1999 was the 78 Washington Bullets at 71.1% and the average FT Shooting percentage of championship teams in the modern era absent those Shaq teams and minus the strike-shortened 1999 season is 75.5%. What you should be able to extrapolate from that is sans a Shaq/Wilt monster season from Dwight and sans a Robinson/Duncan monster defense like the 99 Spurs that for a team to have a real shot at a championship they're gonna have to get their FT shooting percentage up close to or above 74-75%.

    Free throw shooting percentages are an important barometer of championship success and they are one of the reasons that I feel that Jones nor DMo can help us win a ring right now. Because with Dwight on this team, we've got to have a bunch of ace free throw shooters around him to offset his crappy free throw shooting percentage or else we have to have ace defenders and rebounders so that either or both our defense and rebounding is dominant. Neither of those things is happening. We are a middle-of-the-pack defensive team and believe it or not we are actually a subpar rebounding team. You combine that with shooting below 70% from the FT line and we have virtually no chance at a ring.

    This is why I am still advocating getting Asik healthy and getting him on the floor for 30 minutes a game including 10-12 minutes a game alongside Dwight if we can't trade him for good value. Because if we can't get our FT shooting percentage up to around 72-74% as a team (we can't with a big man rotation of Dwight/Jones/DMo nor can we with Dwight/Asik/whomever) then the only small chance we have to win anything is by having a suffocating defense and a dominant rebounding team. Our best chance to win a ring this season without a significant trade involves getting Omer playing at last year's level for 30 minutes a game and replacing a poor shooting TJones' minutes in the rotation with a better shooter (either Casspi, Parsons, Garcia, or Harden). That is what Morey refers to as increasing the variance.

    Spoilered below is a list of all NBA Champions back to 1977 and their FT shooting percentages.

    13 Heat 75.4%
    12 Heat77.5%
    11 Mavs 77.7%
    10 Lakers 76.5%
    09 Lakers 77%
    08 Celtics 77.1%
    07 Spurs 75.1%
    06 Heat 70%
    05 Spurs 72.4%
    04 Pistons 75.3%
    03 Spurs 72.5%
    02 Lakers 69.9%
    01 Lakers 68.3%
    00 Lakers 69.6%

    99 Spurs 69.8%
    98 Bulls 74.3%
    97 Bulls 74.7%
    96 Bulls 74.6%
    95 Rockets 74.9%
    94 Rockets 71.6%
    93 Bulls 73.3%
    92 Bulls 74.4%
    91 Bulls 76.0%
    90 Pistons 76.1%
    89 Pistons 76.9%
    88 Lakers 78.9%
    87 Lakers 78.9%
    86 Celtics 79.4%
    85 Lakers 76.3%
    84 Celtics 79.2%
    83 Sixers 74.2%
    82 Lakers 71.7%
    81 Celtics 75.2%
    80 Lakers 77.5%
    79 Sonics 75.4%
    78 Bullets 71.1%
    77 Blazers 76.2%
     
    #13 basketballholic, Jan 31, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2014
    2 people like this.
  14. Sweet Lou 4 2

    Sweet Lou 4 2 Contributing Member
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    Not necessarily true. Because if they are fouling us on high percentage shots - let's say a shot that would go in 80% of the time as they would do to dwight, and instead he goes to the line and shoots 50% - we are definitely losing out. It effectively results in a much lower fg% for us.
     
  15. Rip Van Rocket

    Rip Van Rocket Contributing Member

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    The number of free throws we attempt is not the problem. It's the percentage that we make that is the problem. You don't see that?
     
  16. Xsatyr

    Xsatyr Member

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    He jumps on his three point attempts so not having an arc is not as detrimental compared to his free throw shot.
     
  17. ling ling

    ling ling Member

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    Hypothetically, if Houston made more FT's, there would be less hack a player, so there would be less FT's and there would be less bonus FT's.

    So... in the end, their record would be the same.
     
  18. basketballholic

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    #AustinPowersish logic
     

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