Can You Miss A Free Throw On Purpose?

Can You Miss A Free Throw On Purpose

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During the final minutes of the fourth quarter, both basketball teams are executing different strategies to win especially if it’s a close game. One of the strategies basketball players do in the final minutes of the game is missing a free throw intentionally. 

I know it sounds dumb because free throws are free shots. Missing it intentionally is like giving your opponent a free win. However, before we go into the reasons why basketball players do this, let’s first know if it is a hundred percent legal.

Can you miss a free throw on purpose? Yes! Basketball players can miss a free throw intentionally. Players intentionally miss their free throws to give their team a chance to score more points than a free throw would give. This is risky because the opposing team might rebound or get the ball. 

You are going to learn more about this topic. We are going to tell you the other different reasons why basketball players miss their free throws intentionally. All the questions related to our topic will be answered. If you are ready, let’s hit it!

Why Do Basketball Players Miss Their Free Throws Intentionally?

It is legal to miss a free throw on purpose. However, there are some cons that you need to consider before executing this. It is a risky strategy because the opposing team might get the rebound first and lose your chance of scoring more points than a free throw. If this happens, you will realize that one is better than zero. 

We have seen this kind of strategy in the NBA. Players like Manu Ginobli and Kyrie Irving are the players who are experts in missing a free throw on purpose. However, aside from giving their team a chance of getting an extra point, what are the other reasons why basketball players miss their free throws intentionally? 

The first reason why basketball players miss their free throws intentionally is to give their team an extra score. This is the main reason why basketball players miss their free throws intentionally. The reason is acceptable, and I think missing a free throw for a chance of getting an extra point is logical. 

Basketball players do this when they need extra points to tie or lead the game, especially during the final minutes of the fourth quarter. They will throw their free throws hard on the rim or on the board for the ball to bounce hard back to them. When they successfully rebounded their missed free throw, they can pass the ball out to the three-points or score an easy layup. Depending on the lead of their opponent. 

Some basketball players miss their free throws intentionally for the sake of their stats. If they are one rebound away from getting a triple-double, they will miss their free-throw and try to secure a rebound. Or if they have 38 points and they have one free throw remaining, they will sometimes miss it and shoot two points to make it 40. 

The last reason why basketball players miss their free throws is to give their team more lead. Of course, the more lead your team has the more chances of winning. Basketball players miss their free throws intentionally to get a rebound for a chance of scoring more points. They may score two points or three points. 

There are many pros and advantages of missing a free throw on purpose a basketball team can get. However, do not forget that there are also some cons or disadvantages it may give. So before you do this, make sure that you are an adept rebounder so that you can secure the ball after you miss a free throw intentionally. 

Can You Miss A Free Throw On Purpose
Manu Ginóbili missing his free throws intentionally

What Happens If You Airball A Free Throw?

It is inevitable for a basketball player to miss a free throw. It is normal to miss a free throw sometimes. However, when you airball a free throw, it is not normal especially if you are a professional basketball player. NBA players sometimes airball their free throws even though it seems like they are adept basketball players. 

There will be a time where you will airball your free throws too. The reason may be because you are tired or have no practice at all. But let’s answer one important question about air balling a free throw. What will happen if a basketball player airballs a free throw? Let’s find out!

What happens if you airball a free throw? When a basketball player airballs a free throw, it will be considered a dead ball. It will give the opposing team possession of the ball.

Can A Basketball Player Dunk A Free Throw?

The answer to this question is no. Basketball players cannot dunk a free throw. I know it is impossible but even though it is possible, it is still illegal. Basketball players should not step over the plane of the free-throw line until the ball touches the rim or the backboard. When they do, the referees will call a violation. 

Wilt Chamberlain is one of the NBA players that is dunking a free throw. He was the reason why the NCAA and the NBA banned players from crossing the foul line. Wilt has a different kind of way of shooting free throws.

However, some people said that Wilt doesn’t dunk his free throws. He just jumped towards the rim and lay the ball in. But who knows? Wilt is tall and athletic, so it is possible. 

Basketball players cannot dunk their free throw attempts but they can dunk on the free-throw line. Michael Jordan became well-known because of his jumping ability. Jordan jumped on the free throw and dunk the basketball during the All-star dunk contest.

After that, many people start to make a logo and meme on the position of Michael Jordan while dunking. He is a sensational basketball star!

Mike Conley Sr. is also another guy who dunks the basketball from the free-throw line. He is not an NBA player. But because he is a track and field player, his legs are strong enough to jump high.

I wonder what could Mike Conley Sr. do if he played in the NBA like his son. Maybe he will destroy the rim and end the career of the other NBA players by posterizing them. 

Can A Basketball Player Jump On A Free Throw?

Have you ever seen a professional basketball player jumping during his/her free throw attempt? Not yet, right? In some basketball leagues, especially in kid’s basketball leagues, they allow basketball players to jump during a free throw attempt. However, is this legal or in kid’s basketball leagues only? 

Yes! It is legal in all basketball leagues! A basketball player can jump on a free throw as long as they don’t cross the line. Basketball players jump on a free throw because they don’t have enough strength yet to throw the ball without jumping. This is common to little kids playing a basketball game. 

Professional basketball players do not jump during a free throw because they don’t see any reason to jump. Yes, it is allowed, but they still don’t do it. Professional basketball players only jump during a jump shot so that defenders will have a hard time blocking their shots. 

Why Do Basketball Players Miss Their Free Throws?

It is inevitable for basketball players, including professional ones, to miss their free throws. Of course, everybody can have a bad day right? Tell me one basketball player in the comment section below who doesn’t have a bad shooting or bad game and I will cut one of my fingers. 

Every basketball player including you will have a bad day or bad shooting. It may happen tomorrow or today. Basketball players who have a bad night will sometimes miss some of their free throws during the game. I know it is surprising for professional basketball players to miss their free throws. However, let’s check some of the reasons why they miss their free throws. 

The reason why some basketball players miss their free throws is probably that they are tired, they have injuries, or they feel pressured. Many people are watching the game, which is why basketball players will feel pressured and will sometimes miss their free throws because of it. 

Even me, I feel pressured if many people are watching. It gives me a heavy heart and I lose my concentration. It is inevitable too and it will happen to you too because it is part of the basketball journey. 

Feeling pressure is the main reason why basketball players miss their free throws. That is why you will see in the NBA, many fans are shouting when a player from the visitor team will shoot his free throws. Fans execute this so that the player will lose his focus. 

However, you can do something to improve your free throws and lessen your chances of missing. Make sure that you practice free throws every day. It is better if you are under high pressure while practicing so that you will get used to it. 

Can You Make A Free Throw Off The Backboard?

Yes! You can hit the backboard or bank shot a free throw. However, not all basketball players do this because most of them are used to shooting the ball directly to the rim. Basketball players who are not accurate on the shooting will bank shot a free throw for a higher chance of sinking in. Again, it is legal to bank-shot your free throw as long as you don’t step over the line or airball it. 

Basketball is a game where you need to execute different strategies to win. One of the strategies is missing a free throw on purpose. You can miss a free throw on purpose as long as it doesn’t go airball. It is legal and many players do this strategy, especially during the final minutes of the game and the game is close. 

Do you miss a free throw on purpose? If yes, how and why do you do this? Comment your answers below! 

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