Memo to the Golden State Warriors: free throws are referred to as “free throws” because they are supposed to be “free” points.
The Warriors are in the top five of both field goal and three-point shooting percentage. But they are in the bottom five of the entire league of free throw percentage.
In last night’s loss to Kevin Durant’s 54 points and his Oklahoma City Thunder brethren, the Warriors as a team shot a better percentage from three point range (59 percent) than from the free throw line (56 percent).
In the second quarter of Friday night’s game, the Warriors ineptitude at the line was prevalent. At one point early in the second period, the Warriors missed seven consecutive free throws: four from Andrew Bogut, two from Andre Iguodala and even a miss from the near-perfect Stephen Curry.
In a game in which the Thunder scored 50 points in the paint, head coach Mark Jackson could not put Andrew Bogut in the game for long stretches of the game in fear of the Thunder playing “hack-a-Shaq” on the seven-foot Australian. Bogut played a mere 22 minutes and had eight points and five rebounds, but his struggles from the line forced Jackson’s hand.
Iguodala was not much better. Yes, he had a tough challenge being the Warrior’s best guy to throw out the second best player in the NBA, but his box score line of two points, two rebounds, two assists, two steals, and his one of eight shooting from the field did not and will not get the job done in the future. Iguodala also missed both his free throws and threes.
On a night where the Warriors bench played well with 35 total points, 12 of those coming from Jordan Crawford and MarShon Brooks, the Warriors struggle at the line payed huge dividends. The Warriors fifteen missed free throws was the difference in a game where they only missed 11 three- pointers.