The Lakers ranked first in free throw differential last season at nearly +6 attempts per game, which was first by a healthy margin and sit around that mark this season as well. It’s a key strength of the team under head coach Darvin Ham.
That free throw differential has come to light after comments from Toronto Raptors head coach Darko Rajaković following the team’s one-point loss on Tuesday night in which there was a 20 free throw differential in the fourth quarter.
As you would expect, those comments have prompted the “Lakers get all the calls” cries to begin once again. However, when you look closer at the team and stats, there are five key reasons why the Lakers are at the top or near the top in free throw differential in the NBA.
I took a closer look at that in this video:
It’s always easy to look at free throws and blame officiating, falling into the all too easy trap of selective attention, but the team’s ability to draw contact while not fouling is a clear trend under Ham and his staff.
It’s a strength that the team will continue to hammer and I’m sure we’ll continue to hear many, many complaints about it.
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.