Ray Allen shares the underlying problem behind players struggling to shoot from the free-throw line.
Problem behind shooting free-throws
Even though today's NBA is predominantly oriented towards shooting, and if you want to make it in the league, you need to be a great shooter, some players struggle to make the easiest shot in the game, free throws. We've seen several all-star players having problems making those shots, which sometimes can cost their team a win and, therefore, frustration from the fans. Just remember Ben Simmons or Giannis, who were constantly criticized for not making those shots, especially when their teams needed them to hit two free throws.
Ray Allen rarely experienced those problems since he is regarded as one of the greatest shooters of all time, and in a recent interview for Dan Patrick Show, he shared why things like these happen. In Allen's opinion, players get too emotional, and it seems they don't practice free throws as much as they should. Sometimes the sheer pressure of making the two most effortless shots in basketball is overwhelming for some players, even though it shouldn't be like that for them.
"I've come to find that when it comes to free throws, it's just focus, and I don't think we understand how emotional they are. If you don't take that emotion that you have in the game and think about it. You just got knocked down, hard foul, the score of the game is either you are down 2, and you need to make these two, or you are up 2, and you gotta ice the game. There are different scenarios that make you think about the free throw, and if you don't practice that during practice, then you are not preparing yourself for the game."
Too many unnecesary three-pointers
The volume of players shooting three-pointers has increased since Allen retired, and he doesn't think that is the right way to move forward. He thinks too many players take unnecessary three-point shots, often relying way too much on the shot, neglecting the importance of the mid-range game. Settling on unnecessary three-pointers is a bad habit some players developed, and it takes away from their overall game and making the right plays.
"When you think about so many guys shooting threes, how many guys take a three when they don't need to and can just take that one-two dribble jump shot, and that takes the pressure of the three-ball. If you took 9 threes on the game and you are 2 from 9, and if you only took 6 and you are 2 from 6 you get those other midrange shots going. Then you might be even 4 from 6, and you have yourself little confidence going."
Everything Ray said was spot on and makes complete sense when looking at what is going on around the league. The adoption of the three-point shot has been so widely accepted that players sometimes get too carried away when taking the three, not thinking properly whether that shot makes sense at that specific time in the game. On the other hand, free throws are still a problem for many players, and we've seen great players struggle with it big time.
When it comes to the free throws, it's all about the practice and making sure players are comfortable taking that shot even when under pressure. Understanding the importance of having the mid-range game can also be an essential factor if players understand they can add that to their repertoire of moves on offense and be even more dangerous on the court.