Individual Factors of Successful Free Throw Shooting

Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, Forthcoming.

15 Pages Posted: 22 Oct 2011 Last revised: 13 Jul 2012

Allan Maymin

AllianceBernstein

Philip Maymin

Vantage Sports; University of Bridgeport - School of Business

Eugene Shen

AllianceBernstein

Date Written: July 12, 2012

Abstract

We use three-dimensional optical tracking data on the 25-frames-per-second positional data of 2,400 free throw shots by the twenty players with at least twelve tracked makes and twelve tracked misses over the course of the 2010-2011 NBA season, fit each trajectory to a comprehensive physics model to find the implied backspin, initial launch height, velocity, angle, and left-right deviation, and examine the differences of those five factors between makes and misses for each player with sufficient attempts in our sample. We find that usually one or two factors are most responsible for a given player's misses, but the particular factors at fault differ across players. Thus, the causes of successes and failures in free throw shooting are idiosyncratic. This framework may also be useful in analyzing jump shots taken during the game.

Keywords: Free Throws, Physics, Trajectories, Shooting, Optimal, NBA

Suggested Citation

Maymin, Allan and Maymin, Philip and Shen, Eugene, Individual Factors of Successful Free Throw Shooting (July 12, 2012). Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, Forthcoming.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1947166 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1947166

Allan Maymin

AllianceBernstein ( email )

1345 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10105
United States

Philip Maymin (Contact Author)

Vantage Sports ( email )

United States

University of Bridgeport - School of Business ( email )

126 Park Avenue
Bridgeport, CT 06601
United States

Eugene Shen

AllianceBernstein ( email )

1345 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10105
United States

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