Well, Danny Fortson doesn't have the sample size clearly for road free throws (but here's an instance where ref bias may be pronounced -- is he subjected to different standards on the road versus at home?), but there are some pronounced differences: do the guys showing up on this list get more easily rattled by the antics of the opposing crowd? Could be.
However, if you go back and look at these same twenty guys in 2004-05, you'll find that for the non-rookies, basically half of them have better Home FT%, and the other half better Away FT%. This doesn't exactly suggest a compelling argument there's much to it on a specific player basis. The guys who show up both times as better at home are:
- Terry, B.Wallace, E.Thomas, B.Bowen, R.Murray, A.Harrington, Bogans, M.Williams, S.Jackson.
Now we'll examine the other end of the spectrum:
Lowest net in Home FT% - Away FT% (Min: 30 FTA at home)
If you can find a common thread connecting these players, let us know, but it seems primarily a random effect -- once again half of the twenty show better away FT shooting in 04-05, the other half were better at home.
If you look at specific teams, you'll find the following:
FT% at home is .010 or more better in both 04-05 and 05-06
Cleveland, Detroit, New Jersey, New York
FT% at home is -.010 worse in both 04-05 and 05-06
Boston, Chicago, Houston, San Antonio
Ah, but really you're asking yourself, "which team's fans do the best job of spooking the opposing players" and here's the read on that:
Lowest FT % by opponents playing at team's home
1. Phoenix (#5 in 05-06, #2 in 04-05)
2. Boston (#1, #8)
3. Cleveland (#4, #6)
4. Houston (#8, #5)
5. Orlando (#3, #13)
26. Philadelphia (#16, #29)
27. Portland (#22, #25)
28. New Orleans (#28, #23)
29. L.A. Lakers (#24, #28)
30. Milwaukee (#28, #30)
Of course as the numbers showed above, attributing that to the home team fans or even the arena seems dubious. More likely some teams do a better job of not fouling the good FT shooters!
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