Practice Your Free Throws Mid-Game - True Hoop Blog ESPN

By Henry Abbott

Alok Pattani of ESPN Stats and Information dug into this season's data from the NBA's StatsCube, and found that an average NBA player shooting two free throws makes the first one 73.9 percent of the time, and the second a notably better 78.2 percent of the time.

The more they shoot in a row, the more NBA players' free throw percentages rise.

Steve Nash has a pretty weird little ritual. When he heads to the free throw line, before the referee gives him the ball, he takes a moment to mimic the shot he's about to take. Little warm-up free throws, shooting air. Like a golfer before a big putt.

Most NBA players do not do this, and it's not hard to wonder why: It does look a little goofy, and it's hard to imagine it could make a big difference.

But it's worth noting that Nash is essentially the best free throw shooter in NBA history.

And now there's a new kind of confirmation that a little last-second practice may be just the ticket: Players who have just shot a free throw shoot far better than those who just step to the line.

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