I've talked about Rip Hamilton's increased free-throw attempts a couple of times already. Either I'm not the only one who noticed (which is most likely) or Krista Jahnke of the Free Press reads DBB (which is still possible). From today's Pistons Corner:
Last season, [Hamilton] also added three-point shooting, in which he led the league in shooting percentage, and defensive toughness to his repertoire.
But he's not entirely the same this year. For one thing, he feels even quicker.
"I think it's because of the weights I've been doing in the summertime, trying to get my legs stronger," he said. "My first step is even quicker than what it used to be."
And the other thing he's concentrated on is getting back to free-throw line. In 2004-05, he attempted 429 free throws. Last year, that number dropped to 303.
So instead of settling for his jump shot -- which is not exactly settling when you shoot like Hamilton -- he's trying to get into the lane and attack inside.
"I had a conversation with Joe (Dumars) before the season started," Hamilton said, "and that's the one thing he told me, 'You shot 50% from the field, you shot 50% from the three-point line, but you didn't get to the free-throw line as many times.' So I knew that. And this year, I want to try to make a conscious effort to drive and get to the free-throw line because once we get in the penalty, it makes the game better for everyone."
Before Monday, Hamilton had averaged 7.7 attempts a game. At that pace, he'd shoot 663 free throws. As an 87% shooter, that would mean 567 points.
Today's NBA is all about getting to the hoop and drawing contact -- here's to hoping that Rip keeps it up.
Rip's to-do list: Get quicker, shoot more free throws [Detroit Free Press]