“Sets it. Sights it. Shoots it.” Remember famous Cavs radio announcer Joe Tait? That’s how he called a foul shot on air.
Most NBA fans of this generation are familiar with the “Hack-a-Shaq” strategy. Basically, the idea derives from legendary big man Shaquille O’Neal. A player in the league that was a career 52.7% foul shooter. A fun fact is that Shaq made 5,935 out of 11,252 all-time from the line.
Thus, the idea is a player purposely fouled Shaq, making him shoot two foul shots and the odds of him making both were as stated about half. This makes it better than say a team making a two or three-pointer or having a better foul shooter get a chance at two.
Now, I was terrible at math throughout my time in school but I get the strategy involved. It was very bad for the game overall because it slows it down so much and made players look bad.
Well, in Thursday’s Paris game, the Brooklyn Nets coach Jacque Vaughn decided to do the same concept but on Cavaliers PF Tristan Thompson. Now for Thompson’s career, he’s at 59.9%, yet for this season it’s a lowly 32.5% at the stripe. Wow, that is terrible. There is no way around it.
It was in yesterday’s game where Thompson actually AIR-BALLED a foul shot at the line. Doing some research and this isn’t the first time it’s happened. He’s air-balled foul shots while on the Chicago Bulls, Boston Celtics and subsequently in Paris as a member of the Cavs.
Luckily, the Cavs still won the game by a score of 111-102. Thompson himself went 1-4 overall from the line, one point and two rebounds in nine minutes total. He was ejected from the game after a scuffle with the Nets Nic Claxton. They had words for each other throughout the contest.
Nobody is a perfect 100% from the line. Some are better than others. It’s tough to see players just simply that bad from the line they airball and it’s happened before. Tristian is a good guy and has done a lot for the Cavs both on and off the court. Let’s just try and make those foul shots my guy.
Or, at least, hit the rim. That would be nice too. There is plenty to teach your children about the game of basketball from how Tristan plays. Just don’t show them how he shoots at the line.