Discussion in 'Pistons and NBA' started by KGREG, Jan 1, 2013.
Again, he could yell AND TWO.
And Stuckey could yell AND THREE after every trey attempt.
Drummond could yell AND ZERO the way he shoots free throws.
At what FT percentage does it NOT make sense to intentially foul a guy Hack-a Shaq style?
What frito % can we reasonably hope that Drummond shoots where we don't have to be concerned about other teams altering their gameplan to put Drummer on the line?
I'm to lazy to look at our EFG% and factor in all that stuff.
I'm hoping one of you math nerds will just tell me and save me from having to open up MS Excel.
I wonder how bad a FT shooter has to be before it becomes a better strategy to chuck the ball off the rim with an overhead baseball type throw.
Say a guy is a 40% shooter. He could try to make the first one and get on average 0.40 points, then try to make the second and get another 0.40 points. Or... he could try to make the first one and then he could whip the 2nd one off the rim. If there is a greater than 20.0% chance that we get the ball, it would make sense to do it (since we'd expect to shoot about 50% eFG). If the odds of a recover were 25%, it would be beneficial to forego trying to make the 2nd FT in lieu of the line drive.
I guess the real question is: what are the odds of onside kicking a free throw and gaining possession? The situations where it is intentionally tried are so infrequent that the best practice has probably not been established. Do you shoot a line drive, lob it really high, backboard it first then have it glance off the rim? Do you run a designed play where players box out strategically like offensive linemen creating holes for a running back?
You'd also have to factor in the particular player's ability to clank it effectively. I assume that a 90% FT shooter is probably much better at line driving it accurately than a 40% shooter, but probably not by a whole lot.
Big picture- if we knew the recovery percentage, then we would know exactly how bad a FT shooter would have to be before that strategy became the best option. If a guy is below that average, then the strategy should be employed almost every time (except when time doesn't allow for it and probably a few other situational exceptions).
This can become complicated to try to nail it exactly, but let me try to do a basic calc.
I'll look at Dre only since he's the only guy that another team would consider hacking intentionally when he doesn't have the ball.
With Dre on the floor, the team shoots an eFG of .495. However, that doesn't count FT's, turnovers, or additional extended possessions through offensive rebounds. For the team as a whole, we score 95.1 points per game and average 89.9 possessions per game (where a possession can include 3 FGA if there were 2 offensive rebounds for instance). It all works out to 1.058 points per possession. The adjusted shooting percentage for that is .529.
So, if the other team doesn't foul Dre, they could reasonably assume that we will score .529 x 2 = 1.058 points before they will get the ball back.
What percentage FT shooter would he have to be for them to expect us to get 1.058 points with him at the line? Divide by 2.
In our case, since Drummond shoots .408, they are picking up an edge by fouling him. Due to the factors below, I think that you would only want to foul guys who shoot below about .500.
Other things to consider:
- our points per possession might be overstated if they have us in a deadball scenario (i.e. there are fast breaks factored into our overall points per possession, so if we are inbounding, our expected value is probably less).
- there is a possibility that we will get an offensive rebound on his FT miss, which makes it less of an edge for them
- by doing this, they will ensure that our defense is set on their following possession, which will decrease their expected points
- by doing this, it increases the number of possessions in the game and therefore variability. When you are down and trying to get lucky, sometimes that is a good thing (you risk losing by more, but so what?)
- Drummond may get personally upset and block all of your shots for the rest of the game and then exact further revenge in the next meeting.
I would think that if a guy is capable enough of clanking it off the rim accurately enough to run a set play, he'd be able to make the frito in the first place.
Dre is not as bad as his % would suggest. He has a better form than most bigs at the line and I would venture to bet within a year he will be near 60% provided he continues to get minutes and attempts in game. Anyone that has watched him can see that with his experience he is beginning to slow down out there and is not in a rush when he gets the ball. He looks to be settling in and it shows almost nightly with his confidence. If you watch his form and release at the ft line? he doesnt miss side to side but rather long or short, which is correctable. he just needs practice and in game situations where the pressure is on. I defenitely believe he will improve not unlike karl malone
You'd be starting with a guy who shoots 40%. The question is- can he find a way to clank it so that we get the ball back in 1 out of every 5 tries?
I'm guessing that the refs would start calling a lot of fouls on us on the rebounds if it started working since it would be breaking the spirit of the game a bit.
The answer is "no." Walter made a great point. Missing a free throw is not as easy as it looks.
Ask and you shall receive!
Once a player has achieved a FT average of 71%, it would be detrimental to foul. Anything lower... foul away.
Ben Wallace had almost perfect form for beyond the arc.
That form did look very nice. He just needed to demand the ball out there more often.
That was nice form, and if he would have used that as his ft form he would have made more of them. I am gonna assume you are being sarcastic though.
My point is that Ben Wallace actually had very good three point form. If you watched him warming up, he hit tons of threes. But the Pistons would never, ever draw up a plan that left Ben open for three. His free throw shooting form wasn't bad either.
For the most part, people who shoot well (from anywhere) usually have good form. But not all people with good form actually shoot well.
Drummond has good form, and seems very coordinated. But, he doesn't make many freethrows. That's a fact. He could improve, but there isn't any reason to believe he will ever improve to the 70% FT level.
On a related note, I'm very skeptical of the Foul-the-big-guy theory. I think it may work very late in a close game, but as a general strategy you have to weigh the benefits of making a scoring opportunity less likely with the cost of having your team collect fouls and be forced to play less aggressively on defense.
Bens ft shooting form had hitches all over it, most were mental . As with most ft shooters it is a mental skill, I believe it was Nick anderson? with the magic back in the day, he was a 80% ft shooter I believe and in a crunch situation he blew a pair and after that he was a horrible ft shooter. Karl malone is one of the better examples of a poor ft shooter that greatly improved. I just look at Dres improvement with his confidence and I would be willing to wager he will be above 60% by this time next year.
I would take that bet if it was a small bet. I don't think it's out of the question, but I do think the odds are against him improving that much. Of course, if he does, I would be happy to lose a few bucks in exchange for a better Drummond at the line.
One other consideration is that when teams are up and are trying to milk the clock, they usually end up with a very bad possession because they don't initiate the offense until there is 5-6 seconds left on the clock. So, by not fouling and playing defense, the expected value has to be substantially lower than normal.
This could be part of the reason why the "clutch" study showed that guys like Kobe would shoot under 30%. Some of those possessions were probably when the Lakers had a lead and he was dribbling the clock away, then forcing up a tough J.
But there is obviously a threshold where it makes sense to do it. If a guy is a 10% FT shooter as an extreme example, you'd foul away like crazy without even second guessing yourself. It's just a matter of where that threshold really lies. And it will be different for different teams because their alternatives will be vary.
The whole "fouling-the-big-guy" thing is not a very smart strategy. I think it implies that the coach has no confidence in his team's defense. Hack-a-Shaq was a valid strategy because when the big fella was in his prime he could not be denied in most games. The best defensive option against Shaq in a close game was to foul him because it was almost guaranteed that his team would score.
I don't see any bad-FT shooting big man out there right now, including Howard, that warrants that level of attention. Hack-a-<insert big man name here> strategy is fool's gold IMO, and it rarely pays dividends.
In those hack-a-shaq games, the score was close, so he must not have been scoring every time.
The reason it rarely works is because the differential between hacking and playing defense is a fraction of a point. When you're down 5 points say, creating a .2 point edge per possession won't result in a victory very often. The key is that it is better than not getting the edge.
If it didn't work, then coaches would leave the Shaqs of the world out there and enjoy the poor strategic decision by the other team. Most of the time though, they pull the guy and reinsert him at the 2:00 mark.
Not fouling when you're down late in a game rarely works as well. You're just in a bad position when you need to close a gap in less than a few minutes when you only get 1.5 offensive possessions per minute. When hack a shaqing, you are not only sending a poor FT shooter to the line, but you are dramatically increasing the number of your own possessions. Your strategy will change to shoot almost all 3-pointers, which has a lower expected value overall, but has a higher variability.
From Hollinger in the 2008 playoffs when Pop used it successfully:
Pretty interesting that he wasn't using it to come from behind, but to keep leads and to turn the tables on a quarter ending possession by the other team.
Think about a situation where the other team inbounds with 24 seconds left in the quarter. If you play great defense, the other team will still expect to get close to 1 point on average and you shouldn't get the ball back, unless it is for a few seconds.
However, if you foul their worst FT shooter, say a 50% shooter, they will get that 1 point, but then your team will get the last possession and expect to get 1 point back. It saves a point on average every time you do it to end a quarter. This strategy would even pay dividends if you fouled any player with less than a 100% average from the FT line.
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