NBA Free Throws: Home Court Advantage?

December 3, 2005 — 1 Comment

I go to a lot of Mavericks games. I think Mark Cuban has put together a great entertainment package. The game itself is almost always competitive. The atmosphere is a lot of fun. And the little extras make going to the games a great evening. While I’m at the games, I can’t help but think about what might give the Mavs a little bit of an edge. I’m always trying to figure out why Coach Johnson made a substitution or called a certain play. I’m looking for mismatches that I think they should try to exploit.

One of the ideas I’ve thought of while at the games is what should the fans do when the other team is shooting free throws. At the AAC, the Mavs pass out “Acme Bricks” for the fans to wave while the other team is shooting free throws. The announcer tells the crowd to make a lot of noise. And the general idea is to be as loud and annoying as possible. The thought is that this would distract the other team and not let them focus on making a free throw.

I don’t think it works. In fact, I think it’s harder to shoot a free throw when it’s quiet. I mean, think about it. You’re at the line, there are 20,000 people staring at you, and it’s dead silent. That would freak me out!!! I think I saw an example of this when Dirk was shooting Thursday night against the Spurs. The arena was almost dead silent and it seemed it distracted him.

Anyway, I was curious enough as about this that I did a little research. I wanted to know if the Mavs have a better free throw percentage at home or on the road. What I found out was the Mavs shoot 75.1% on the road and 74.5% at home. Not a huge difference, but you would think they’d be better at home.

I don’t think it will ever happen, but it would be so cool to have the AAC be the one place where everyone gets dead silent right when the other team is trying to make free throws. It couldn’t hurt, could it?

Kevin

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One response to NBA Free Throws: Home Court Advantage?

  1. I totally agree. Dead silence from 20,000 fans is a lot more nerve racking than chaotic noise. I don’t think it would be too hard to coordinate. Just have a graphic up on the screen right before they shoot that says “SILENCE!” Maybe even have Humble make a little anouncement about it the first few times to get the fans used to it. It doesn’t hurt to try…
    I do like that they are trying to at least make some effort to better distract the free throw shooter by having the fans wave their brick cards in a smooth side to side motion. I think that works better than random waving as it’s more pleasing to look at and may catch the shooter’s eye a little more.

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