Monday, October 20, 2008

The more free throws you shoot, the more rest there is

Corey Maggette has a skill that tends to be overlooked sometimes: He can get to the FT line better than just about any other player in the NBA.

Last season with the Clippers, for example, he took almost 700 free throws, connecting on better than 80 percent of those. Only Dwight Howard, Allen Iverson, LeBron, Kobe, and Stoudemire took more.

Along with playing hard and valuing the ball, getting a high volume of free throw attempts is an important part of good basketball.

Beyond generating points and drawing fouls, Maggette's ability to get to the line helps the Warriors in another way.

According to W's coach Don Nelson, it's like having an extra timeout:

"It's actually good for a running team because the more you shoot free throws, the more rest there is. As long as you have the ball, you're going back on defense, anyway, so that's a good thing."

Added Maggette, who played for Coach K at Duke and is entering his 10th season as a pro:

"I usually lead by example with how hard I play. This year, I have to be more vocal with how many young guys we have - just let them know that I know exactly what you've been going through. I had ups and downs, so I understand. I know how you need to handle yourself to be a professional."