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Random Stat: Technical Free Throw Shooting

Q: I would like to see stats on Technical/fragrant foul free throw shooting... I did this on my own for Lebron James last year and surprisingly it was somewhere around 60% -- bcherkala

A: Well we would regard technicals as very different from flagrants -- for technicals the team gets to choose who shoots it from the five on the floor, whereas the flagrant is the guy who gets fouled, not to mention post flagrant foul you might expect a player to be a little shaken up and not at their best! You try shooting "freebies" after getting clobbered by say Danny Fortson!

So, we'll only look at the technicals:

Technical Free Throws
2005-06 season to 3/09
Player
Team
FTM
FTA
FT%
 Billups DET 51  53 
.962
 Anthony DEN 34  44 
.773
 Cassell LAC 30  37 
.811
 Okur UTA 28  36 
.778
 Arenas WAS 27  34 
.794
 Nash PHO 30  32 
.938
 Nowitzki DAL 25  31 
.806
 Allen SEA 25  31 
.806
 Pierce BOS 22  29 
.759
 Johnson ATL 26  28 
.929
 Bryant LAL 26  28 
.929
 James CLE 22  26 
.846
 Crawford NYK 21  26 
.808
 Turkoglu ORL 21  26 
.808
 Korver PHI 20  25 
.800
 Rose TOR 16  24 
.667
 Boykins DEN 20  23 
.870
 Finley SAS 20  23 
.870
 James TOR 19  23 
.826
 Kidd NJN 16  20 
.800
 Carter NJN 13  20 
.650
 Hinrich CHI 16  19 
.842
 Webber PHI 15  19 
.789
 Mobley LAC 12  19 
.632
 Stojakovic SAC 16  18 
.889
 Croshere IND 15  18 
.833
 Fisher GSW 14  18 
.778
 Miller MEM 11  18 
.611
 Knight CHA 14  17 
.824
 Wesley HOU 13  17 
.765
 Jasikevicius IND 15  16 
.938
 Redd MIL 13  16 
.813
 Dixon POR 12  16 
.750
 Paul NOK 14  15 
.933
 Lue ATL 13  15 
.867
 Garnett MIN 10  15 
.667



So the King of Technical Free Throw Shooting this season appears to be Chauncey Billups both for the sheer number of attempts, where has has a large lead over the rest of the players, and for his consistency in draining the shot -- a .962 FT rate is impressive!

It's hard not to think this also begs the question of whether the Pistons are also adept at "drawing" their opponents into committing the T, Rasheed Wallace's own technical totals notwithstanding...

Overall the league is shooting FT's as follows:

.792 Technical FT's
.744 Non-Technical FT's

This actually is something of a surprise in that we would have expected the Technical% to be higher. Most units should have a .800+ free throw shooter among the five, and when you factor in the Billups, Ray Allen, Dirk Nowitzki types we would have guessed it would have been .825 or better.

So do players shoot technicals worse than their non-technical free throws? As a matter of fact, yes they do! If you add up the expected free throws made from technical attempts based on the non-technical FT%, then the league should have converted .823 as a group, meaning they are underachieving by a not trivial 3%!

Since sample sizes are puny it's not going to be very revealing, but here are the outliers:

+.149 Joe Johnson (.929 Tech / .780 non-T)
+.122 LeBron James (.846 vs .722)
+.102 Chris Paul (.933 vs .832)

-.158 Carter (.650 vs .808)
-.168 M.Miller (.611 vs .780)
-.240 Mobley (.632 vs .871)

You could posit all kinds of theories on why players might shoot the T worse, everything from not liking shooting without other players lined up, feeling the shot is unearned, not coming in the normal flow, or even feeling more/less pressure on the shot. We like to think that perhaps there's a touch of sympathy for the opponent who got dinged since technicals do indeed arise more than once in a while after legitimate bad calls...

The more interesting look though may be on the team level, so let's go there...

Team Technical Free Throw Shooting
Offense
Defense
Team
FTM
FTA
FT%
FTM
FTA
FT%
 Detroit 63  70 
.900
46  49 
.939
 Denver 55  69 
.797
62  79 
.785
 L.A. Clippers 45  59 
.763
37  47 
.787
 Toronto 42  59 
.712
33  49 
.673
 Memphis 37  57 
.649
28  44 
.636
 Cleveland 44  56 
.786
46  57 
.807
 Indiana 48  53 
.906
34  41 
.829
 Portland 39  52 
.750
36  43 
.837
 Utah 38  52 
.731
44  55 
.800
 New Jersey 35  48 
.729
37  44 
.841
 Philadelphia 38  47 
.809
36  43 
.837
 Seattle 41  47 
.872
38  47 
.809
 New York 34  46 
.739
34  46 
.739
 Sacramento 35  46 
.761
36  46 
.783
 San Antonio 38  46 
.826
30  36 
.833
 Washington 37  46 
.804
34  40 
.850
 Houston 37  45 
.822
43  54 
.796
 Minnesota 36  45 
.800
40  51 
.784
 Atlanta 40  44 
.909
31  37 
.838
 Charlotte 34  44 
.773
40  49 
.816
 Boston 34  43 
.791
30  42 
.714
 Dallas 33  41 
.805
42  53 
.792
 Orlando 30  41 
.732
31  44 
.705
 New Orleans 31  40 
.775
37  46 
.804
 Phoenix 35  39 
.897
29  37 
.784
 Miami 27  38 
.711
39  47 
.830
 Chicago 27  37 
.730
36  46 
.783
 Golden State 27  35 
.771
34  49 
.694
 L.A. Lakers 29  31 
.935
42  50 
.840
 Milwaukee 26  31 
.839
30  36 
.833

The Pistons have indeed taken (and made) the most technical free throws this season, but don't go looking for a correlation to winning as you'll see Dallas, Phoenix and Miami down near the bottom.

Interestingly Denver has taken the second most T's, but also yielded by far the most themselves, giving opponents 79 free shots from the stripe compared to 57 for second highest "givers" Cleveland. Should the Nuggets be considered the hotheads of the NBA?

On the other hand Milwaukee, Phoenix, and Atlanta are the three teams with the fewest techical free throws given up. Other random facts:

Net FTM
+17 Detroit
+14 Indiana
+9 Toronto, Memphis, Atlanta
...
-9 Dallas, Chicago
-12 Miami
-13 L.A. Lakers

Technical Shooting%
.935 L.A. Lakers
.909 Atlanta
.906 Indiana
.900 Detroit
...
.712 Toronto
.711 Miami
.649 Memphis

So there you have had it, a truly obscure stat! There have been a lot of requests to see "Clutch free throw shooting" numbers and we'll probably get to those in the not too distant future as well..


Do you have an idea for a cool "random stat" you would like to see? If so, drop us a line

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