Success at the free-throw line doesn’t necessarily guarantee overall success — or more wins than defeats.
But, of course, knocking down free throws at a high percentage is one of many important skills that coaches of all levels emphasize to their players.
In the NBA, 23 of 30 teams were shooting greater than 75 percent at the charity stripe through Tuesday, with six more teams knocking down more than 72.3 percent. The Boston Celtics sit atop the chart at 81.7 percent. (Only the Miami Heat at 69.3 percent were below 70 percent.)
In the B. League’s top flight, meanwhile, only one-third of its 18 teams have made at least 75 percent of their free throws to date.
That list is topped by the Levanga Hokkaido (11-25 overall record), No. 1 at 76.4 percent. Rounding out the top five are the Ryukyu Golden Kings (15-21; 75.8 percent), Niigata Albirex BB (18-18; 75.6), Nagoya Diamond Dolphins (21-15; 75.6) and Alvark Tokyo (27-7; 75.0).
Helping the Levanga claim the current title as the league’s best free-throw shooting team is Asahi Tajima, who’s No. 2 at 90.4 percent (75-for-83). He trails only one player, SeaHorses Mikawa standout Kosuke Kanamaru (92.3).
How much of a factor has the adjustment to the new league and a new ball factored into the shooting statistics? Perhaps a bit based on familiarity. (The circuit’s former bj-league teams were accustomed to shooting the Spalding ball during the past 11 seasons, while the former NBL clubs used the Molten ball, also in use in the B. League.)
Indeed, this is an aspect of the game that B. League teams can improve. After all, when the clock is stopped each free-throw shooter has a chance to add points to his team’s point total, and 75 percent is generally considered a realistic target for teams to attain.
Good news: Toyama Grouses shooting guard Masashi Joho and his wife became proud parents of a baby boy earlier this week.
The couple’s first baby entered this world on Monday at 10:45 p.m., weighing 342 grams.
In a Facebook post on Valentine’s Day, Joho wrote, “Mayu had a baby!!! It’s a boy. We haven’t decided his name yet.”
As of press time on Thursday, the popular player’s related post on Twitter received more than 2,000 likes and 300 retweets.
Roster moves: The Alvark released 209-cm center Andrew Naymick this week, creating a roster vacancy. In 33 games, Naymick, a Michigan State alum, averaged 2.9 points. He accumulated 111 rebounds and 26 blocked shots.
On Monday, the Diamond Dolphins announced that they had parted ways with 218-cm backup center Jordan Bachynski. A day later, the Levanga added the Arizona State product to their roster, then formally introduced him to the local media during a Wednesday news conference. Bachynski practiced with his new squad for the first time on Wednesday.
Upcoming games: After a bye week, the top flight returns to action on Friday with two series openers, Sendai vs. Shiga and Mikawa vs. Hokkaido. The rest of the weekend’s action, starting on Saturday, is as follows: Nagoya vs. Chiba, Akita vs. Yokohama, Kawasaki vs. Osaka, Tochigi vs. San-en, Niigata vs. Kyoto, Toyama vs. Tokyo and Ryukyu vs. Shibuya.
Solid start: The B. League’s official Twitter account has 118,00 followers.
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