Saturday , Jan , 12 , 2013 Matt Formica

The top 5 free throw shooters in the NBA today

The following article profiles the top five free throw shooters in the NBA today.

Hoopsvibe’s quick call:  Free throw shooting is a crucial aspect of the game and is often the difference between winning and losing.

While driving home from work the other day, I found myself listening to the Lakers game on sports radio.  There was a point in the fourth quarter where Stephen Jackson of the Spurs lost his cool and got a technical foul that sent Lakers guard Steve Nash to the free throw line.

When Nash made the technical free throw, the radio commentator mentioned the fact that Nash hasn’t missed a free throw this year.  It caught my attention.  Granted, Nash has been injured the majority of the season and only has 15 free throw attempts.  Regardless, he’s 15-for-15 from the line and that’s pretty impressive. 

I hope Dwight Howard is taking some notes from his point guard.

Minus Nash, who doesn’t have enough attempts to make this list, here are the top five free throw shooters in the league today:

1.)  Kevin Martin, Oklahoma City Thunder

At an amazing 92.9% from the free throw line, Martin is currently the NBA’s best free throw shooter.  Martin, who played for the Rockets the past two seasons before moving to the Thunder in that blockbuster trade involving James Harden, has made 131 of 141 free throw attempts this year; and that’s just borderline insane.  He started every game for the past two seasons for Houston but comes off the bench in Oklahoma City.  Despite not starting a game for OKC this season, Martin is a key member of the Thunder’s offense, averaging over 15 points per game.

2.)  Jimmer Fredette, Sacramento Kings

The 6-2 guard from Brigham Young is in his second season in the NBA as a member of the Kings.  Because he also comes off the bench, he doesn’t have as many free throw attempts as the other guys on the list, but at a league second best 90.8% from the line, he’s efficient when he gets there.  He’s only missed six free throw attempts all season, having made 59 of 65 so far.

3.)  J.J. Redick, Orlando Magic

Former Duke guard J.J. Redick has always been known as a pure shooter, so it’s really no surprise that he’s got the third highest free throw shooting percentage in the league today at 90.6%.  He finished his career at Duke as the school’s All-Time Leading Scorer with 2,769 points before being selected by the Magic as the 11th pick in the 2006 NBA draft.  He has yet to play for any other team than Orlando.  Like Martin and Fredette, Redick also comes off the bench (interesting that three out of the top five free throw shooters in the league come off the bench) and even though he hasn’t started once this season, he’s averaging over 31 minutes per game.  He’s 77-85 from the line.

4.)  Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder

What more can be said about Kevin Durant?  Well I’ll tell you.  Kevin Durant is not only averaging 28.1 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game, but he’s also shooting 90.4% from the free throw line.  But here’s the craziest part about it:  he’s the fourth best free throw shooter in the league because he’s made 282 out of 312 attempts so far this season!  When you think about it, it’s mind-boggling.  Dwight Howard and James Harden are the only two players in the NBA with more attempts from the line this year than KD, which goes to show you that not only is KD going hard to the hoop, drawing fouls, and getting to the free throw line, but he’s shooting absolutely lights out when he gets there.

5.)  Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers

Because point guards handle the ball the majority of the time, they need to be good free throw shooters.  There’s arguably no better point guard in the league than Chris Paul, and his free throw shooting ability is just another reason why.  CP3 has made 145 of 161 free throw attempts this season for a 90.1% average from the line.  At this rate, he’s on pace for the best free throw shooting year of his career.  His worst percentage to date?  81.8% in the 06-07 season.  Moral of the story: don’t put Chris Paul on the line.

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