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Better free-throw shooting through science

"Two North Carolina State University engineers" have "used hundreds of thousands of three-dimensional computer simulations" to produce a peer-reviewed paper with recommendations for shooting better free throws. I love science, particularly since I've been playing a bit of basketball lately and my shot, after years of nonuse, would make Shaq feel extremely good about himself. If only I'd remembered to put three hertz of backspin on the ball …

By Ezra Klein  |  November 9, 2009; 4:28 PM ET
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It isn't clear to me from the link whether their ideas are empirical or theoretical. There was a nice book put out not too long ago on the physics of basketball that found, from following trajectories of good shooters, that shooters essentially seek to minimize the speed of the ball as it arrives at the basket -- probably not what a naive guesser would expect them to minimize/maximize.

Here's the Amazon link:

Posted by: davestickler | November 9, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Feh. Practice, people. They don't call it "the charity stripe" for nothing.

Posted by: ajw_93 | November 10, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

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