Jim Mancari, SNYNets.com
It’s a free-throw.
It’s a 15-foot uncontested shot that NBA players shoot hundreds of each day.
The Nets lately have been coming up short at the charity stripe, which has played a role in the back-to-back home losses.
On Friday night, Brooklyn shot 6-of-11 (54.5 percent) from the line in a loss to the Rockets, and the loss to the Grizzlies saw the Nets shoot just 5-of-13 (38.5 percent).
The Nets lost by 10 to the Grizzlies, so the free-throw shooting did not make too much of a difference, but in last night’s game, making half of those missed free-throws would have forced a tie.
The Nets collectively are shooting 73.6 percent from the free-throw line. That mark ties the team with the Washington Wizards for 18th in league, though some teams ahead of them as also tied – meaning the Nets actually sit at 22nd.
It’s never a good sign when a team is tied with the Wizards in any statistical category.
It might seem that free-throws aren’t too big a deal, but we’ve seen many times that hitting at the line can determine to outcome of a game.
Just look back to the Nets’ recent win over the Milwaukee Bucks. Monta Ellis had a chance to tie the game late with three free-throw attempts. He missed the first two and then missed the third on purpose so the Bucks could try for the rebound. The Nets won by three.
Reggie Evans is a particularly poor free-throw shooter, so it might seem that his percentage (50 percent) is dragging the rest of the team down.
But lately, Gerald Wallace, MarShon Brooks and C.J. Watson have not been able to consistently knock down free-throws.
The Nets have plenty of other problems to worry about, especially getting Joe Johnson back and healthy and keeping Deron Williams healthy enough.
But the little things, like free-throw shooting, need to improve for Brooklyn to string together another series of wins.
Jim Mancari is a Contributor to SNYNets.com. Follow him on Twitter @JMMancari.