Free throws Rumors
But the analytics shed light on this premiere aspect to Butler’s style of play. If you accounted for playing time by adjusting his free throws to a per-36-minute scale, you find that Butler’s free throw rate (5.6 free throw attempts per 36 minutes) ranked second only to Derrick Rose on the Bulls — the guy coming off an MVP season. But even per-36-minute stats underrated this Butler skill. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau played an extremely slow brand of basketball that artificially deflated per-game as well as per-minute measures. Players only had so many possessions to put up numbers. But on a per-possession basis, Butler racked up 8.4 free throws per 100 possessions, which topped all rookies that season. In fact, to this day, Chris Paul and Luka Doncic are the only active guards who have posted higher free throw rates than Butler during their rookie season, per Stathead.com.
He looked like a metronome to the viewers watching him on Twitch and like a nightmare to the 14 doubters who had wagered against him, including one who said that “tuning in periodically to see him looking like the Canadian Chris Mullin is quite a feeling.”A counter on the bottom-right corner of the stream tallied his shooting percentage. The drab setting belied the the stakes. If McDonald could go on a run and make 90 out of 100 free throws, he stood to net $250,000. If he continued to falter, as he had in his previous two days of shooting, he stood to lose $210,000.
He was right. The exhibition sparked a 24-hour brouhaha on social media. McDonald sparred in his mentions for a while, and then went back to the gym on Aug. 27. He cut another video of himself shooting 90 for 100. This time, he didn’t take a break. Even the doubters had to concede. “Timex has the sweetest stroke I’ve ever seen at the line,” said Nick Schulman, a beloved player and commentator who had bet against McDonald, in a video posted to Twitter. “I mean, he did it. He did do it. I don’t know if that first video was a hustle or not, but I don’t think it was.” “Never,” Jaffe posted, “bet against Timex.” Thus ended what McDonald described as “a very intense, but short chapter of my life.” With an extra $250,000 in his bankroll, he went back to PokerShares and speculating in cryptocurrency. He still retained the muscle memory of his summer-long experiment. A few weeks after winning the bet, he said, “when I wake up, it’s like I still have this ‘OK, gotta shoot,’ sort of feeling.”
Thibodeau said he also wants to get to the free throw line. Barrett, Randle and Ntilikina had the highest on/off court impacts on the Knicks’ free throw rate during the 2019-20 season, with the Knicks making 4.2 more free throws per 100 shot attempts when Barrett played compared to when he sat, according to Cleaning The Glass, which put him in the 90th percentile.
Gibson was on the other pole, with the team making 4.5 fewer free throws over 100 shots, putting him in the eighth percentile league-wide, according to Cleaning The Glass, with Payton and Portis trailing him nearby on the leaderboard. That’s been a constant for Payton; his teams have never shot more free throws per 1oo shots with him on the floor than off it in his six seasons. For Portis, it was a turnaround; he had been a positive influence over his last two seasons in Chicago and Washington.
Payne then explained how Curry perfected one specific workout. “It ends up being 30 consecutive makes but it’s from all over the court,” he said. “And it includes free throws. We can’t finish until you make those 30 consecutive shots. He got that done in less than three or four minutes … usually, it’s 20 shots in about the same amount of time, but I added additional shots.
The Lakers made 28 of their 35 free throws, including an 11-for-14 mark by James and a 13-for-14 line by Davis. “I’m going to have to go through the proper channels like they did to see if we can figure out how we can get some more free throws,” said Nuggets coach Michael Malone, whose team shot 23 free throws. The Lakers outrebounded the Nuggets 41-33, including 12-6 on the offensive boards. They outscored the Nuggets 25-6 on second-chance points. “That’s really hard to overcome,” Malone said.