Giannis Antetokounmpo missed a free throw that could have tied the game against the Boston Celtics tonight. Why has his ft percentage fallen of late?
The case of Giannis becoming a worse shooter through the course of his NBA career is a puzzling one. The Greek Freak was an average 3-point shooter in his first NBA campaign, with a percentage of 34.7%. But his free throw percentage at the time was below average: 68.3%.
Over the course of the next 5 seasons, Giannis made various improvements to all facets of his game. Except his 3-point shooting – he went to a terrible 3-point shooter after that rookie year. Giannis bumped his free throw percentage up to 77% in 2016-17 – his 4th year in the league and his first All Star selection.
The 5th season of Giannis’ career is arguably his most varied, all-round performance on the offensive end. Jason Kidd ran countless post moves to get Giannis the lion’s share of the ball, and he catapulted himself into All-NBA contention. His free throw percentage was at 76% – above league average.
Giannis Antetokounmpo misses free throw in Celtics home win over Bucks
Since 2018-19, however, Giannis began facing trouble at finishing off his freebies. His free throw percentage fell to 72% as he took 9.5 attempts per game. During the playoffs that year, Giannis was dismal from the line – especially against the Raptors in the Conference Finals.
He carried on that form into next season, when he shot a really bad 63.3% on the year. Despite his excellent play overall, it was becoming clear that Giannis was becoming a Hack-a-Shaq candidate. In the bubble playoffs, Giannis missed a game-tying free throw against the Heat, giving them a 2-0 lead.
Giannis choked 😬 pic.twitter.com/irtF9bxsxr
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) December 24, 2020
In tonight’s season opener against the Celtics, the Greek Freak had a good outing overall. But he had the chance to tie the game leaving 0.4 seconds on the clock and an inbound pass for the Bucks. His miss ensured that the game clock expired and the Celtics took home the W.