Lakers guard Austin Reaves is having the best stretch of his career, setting a career-high in points vs the Orlando Magic and a career-high in assists vs. the Phoenix Suns in successive games. In those two games, he’s also averaged over 15 free-throw attempts per game, roughly 13 free-throw attempts per game over his last four games, and a free-throw rate (.545) that is among the highest for any player since the All-Star break.
His ability to draw free throws has become a topic of national discussion (and of course, that has brought the “Laker conspiracy” contingent out of the woodwork as well). However, when you dig deeper into Reaves’ playing history, his free-throw rate and craft to draw fouls aren’t some new phenomenon for those who have actually been paying attention.
I explained more in the following video:
Using the full context and perspective to frame Reaves’ free throw rate brings the attention back to where it should be — Austin Reaves. He’s always been able to do it for a variety of reasons, and in all likelihood will continue to do so as he keeps getting these opportunities.
So the next time you see someone on social media complaining about this, or you’re speaking to a friend and this topic comes up, let them know that Reaves getting to the line isn’t some NBA-concocted phenomenon.
Dr. Rajpal Brar, DPT has a doctorate in physical therapy from Northern Arizona University, is a youth basketball coach at the U12 level and runs his own in-person and online sports medicine and performance business, 3CB Performance, in West LA and Valencia, CA in which he further combines his movement expertise and fitness training. Combining his background in biomechanics, movement science, and learning science - he consults in a variety of sports including basketball on movement mechanics and skill acquisition. Brar is additionally training at UCLA’s mindful awareness research center (MARC and analyzes the Lakers from a skills & medical perspective for Silver Screen and Roll and on his own YouTube Channel. You can follow him on Twitter at @3cbPerformance.