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Happy New Year! Or soon to be New Year!
As noted last summer, this website will occasionally put out a piece or two when your SOB Editor finds the time and motivation to pen some thoughts to add to the fine Bucks blogosphere. The past two weeks have been a celebration of all things Giannis, highlighted by Bill Simmon’s piece last week where he proclaimed Giannis as the NBA’s next great superstar.
The superstardom of Giannis prompted some thoughts as to perhaps the key statistic relating to his rise to prominence. Namely free throw attempts per game (FTA or FTA’s). Many NBA players have produced very impressive seasons with high scoring, rebounding or assist totals. But few of those players become the superstars capable of carrying their teams to an NBA championship. The ability to get to the line seems to be one of those correlating factors. Are FTA’s a byproduct of a great NBA player? Why yes, yes they are.
This is why it is important to take stock of where Giannis ranks compared to historical Bucks and recent NBA superstars in the category of free throws attempted per game. As most veteran NBA watchers know, getting to the free throw line can be a major strategic advantage for a player and their team. Not only do you get two free shots but you also rack up the fouls against your opponent, potentially neutralizing their ability to tighten up the defense down the stretch and/or depleting their lineup via foul trouble.
There is a fairly significant correlation between how often a player gets to the free throw line and their impact on the court as evidenced by the current top 20 in the NBA in this category. Note Giannis is ranked ninth overall this season. He’s rising up that list quickly. How quickly you may ask?
For his career, Giannis is averaging 4.4 FTA per game.
For this current season that rises to 7.7 FTA per game
For the month of December that rises to Continue reading