NBA At It Again!

Originally published February 01, 2007

"Plus ça change, plus c'est la méme chose!"

This is a French saying that says, "The more things change, the more they stay the same." I thought of this as I watched the first two evenings of the new NBA season last week, the beginning of the 2006-2007 season. I was kind of naively hoping I'd see better shooting. With everything so new, and new arrangements of teams, new rookies, coaches changing, I thought perhaps another summer of shooting practice might improve the level of shooting in the League.



Missed shots and missed Free Throws were as evident as ever. Most of the players, obviously, hadn't been spending time during the off season looking for shooting help. Does anyone even care any more?

I made a spreadsheet of the Free Throw and 3-Pt shooting for each of the 30 teams that played in the first 15 games of the year. It was pretty revealing. (I wish they had a statistic for non-3's taken from, say, 5 feet away or further. That would really shock people. Including dunks and layups and tip-ins with outside field goals confuses the issue. Take away the easy ones and the Bigs -- and the League -- would be pretty embarrassed by their stats for outside shots.)

71.7% FROM THE LINE, 31.5% FOR 3'S

Overall in these 15 games, the teams averaged 71.7% from the line and 31.5% from the 3-pt arch.


For the Free Throws, the team performances went from a low of 50% (Cleveland shooting 15 for 30 in a win, if you can believe it, against the Wizards) up to 92% (Philadelphia making 23 of 25 against Atlanta, who shot a nifty 19 for 22 themselves, 86.4%).

I don't know how 71.7% stands relative to previous years, but it's pretty poor in my book. For players as gifted as these guys, who play as much as they play, to make fewer than 3 out of 4 is disappointing, to say the least. Maybe these days 72% is considered "pretty good," but in the old days it would be considered mediocre. Further broken down, 13 teams shot 70% or lower, and 5 teams shot 60% or lower.

Here are the box scores for the worst 13 performances from the line:

13 for 22

Tom Nordland is a shooting expert and coach from California via Minnesota. His videos, coaching and writings are inspiring a Renaissance (a rebirth, a revival) in shooting around the world as players and coaches are taught the things that really matter in shooting. A great shooter as a youth, Tom was given a gift of seeing shooting like few have ever seen it. He sees the “essence” of great shooting and how to get there. The good news is that it’s very simple. The few great shooters of today and yesterday mastered simple things, not complicated motions. Improved shooting is now possible for everybody in the game, and mastery is available to those who sincerely dedicate themselves to it. Visit Tom’s website ( to read of his background and his articles and newsletters, and to view the remarkable endorsements and amazing testimonials for this approach to shooting.