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Perhaps in South Korea they figured out how to miss fewer free throws in basketball

Perhaps in South Korea they figured out how to miss fewer free throws in basketball

And an American coach noticed that the percentages had improved in the local league by taking advantage of the rebounds on the board

In basketball, the free throw is one of the few game situations in which outside variables and interference are minimized: there are only the player and the basket, always at the same distance, without any defense. No other situation in the game is more replayable and repetitive, and in point-to-point matches, a scored free throw (which is worth 1 point) can make all the difference.

For these reasons, free throws have often been the subject of in-depth study, especially in the country that invented basketball, the United States. One of the most famous and most cited of these operations was performed in the 1990s by an aeronautical engineer and professor at North Carolina State University, who, using software developed to reproduce millions of different trajectories, attempted to find a simple answer to a big question: how to make a perfect free throw operation. ?

The results suggested that the ball be given three turns before landing on the basket, starting from a shooting angle of 52 degrees, so that the ball at the highest point of its parabola reaches the height of the upper edge of the backboard. The goal must also point to the farthest end of the club. In practice, shooting mechanics that have already been implemented by most professional players and have since been improved have been described without much change at all: rarely does anyone continue to shoot them from below, between the legs, as they did many decades ago. And, as now. Today only the least practical people continue to do so.

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But recently, the South Korean basketball league, where shooting percentages for an unusually large number of players exceeded 80 percent (the best in the NBA roughly reaches 80 and 90 percent): has been drawn to critics’ attention last season. 4 of the top 9 South Korean strikers hit it this way.

Eric Fawcett, a college coach who prof slate narratedI keep watching foreign leagues to see if there is something innovative I can bring to college basketball. So I thought of looking at the Korean championship.” So Fossett realized that free throws are mostly taken by shooting to the backboard, and thus to the side. “The first time I saw a player do this I said, wow, that’s interesting and he shoots 82 percent from the goal line,” he wrote on Twitter. The second time I was surprised again, but when I saw a third, fourth, fifth and more I realized that it was actually a trend.

Backhand shots in and of themselves are not new to basketball, and some great players have become famous for using them, such as Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs. Long shots or free throws It is rarely implemented: usually aim directly for the basket. From Fawcett’s report they were born several threads About South Korea’s way of taking free throws, which has already been reported at other times in the past, but mostly in individual cases observed during international tournaments. According to the most popular opinion, banking as a free throw technique can be beneficial, but only for those who have low scoring percentages and cannot find other ways to improve them. In fact, executing the shot becomes more complicated: instead of shooting directly at the basket, one must also aim at the backboard to calculate the trajectory of the bounce.

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These discussions are fueled by the fact that free throws remain a somewhat complicated aspect of the game for many players. Despite its apparent simplicity, there is something that makes dealing with it difficult. In the NBA championship, one of the most dominant and successful players in North American basketball history, Shaquille O’Neal, struggled to shoot them is still remembered. Its difficulties also gave the name to an equally famous strategy game, known as Hack Shack, Which consists of intentionally fouling players with low free throw percentages, in order to deny them a field goal with a good chance that they won’t even score from the foul line (as they say in jargon when talking about free throws).

In basketball today, this strategy is used most often with Giannis Antetokounmpo, who despite being twice elected MVP of the league, has a career average of just over 70 percent and barely surpassed 60 percent last season.

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