Jakob Poeltl was among the worst free-throw shooters in the NBA this season. His impotence at the charity stripe encouraged opponents to employ a Hack-a-Jak strategy that ultimately forced head coach Gregg Popovich to send him to the bench down the stretch of close contests.
The Austrian Center was shooting a frighteningly low 38% at the line by the end of March, which ranked 466th out of the 480 players who had taken at least one free throw attempt at that point. Spurs fans were well aware of his shortcoming, and Pop verbally expressed his discontent.
“There’s no improvement,” Popovich said. “He’s been like that since the day he got here.”
Although Pop’s pointed commentary on Jakob’s lack of progress as a foul shooter may have come off a bit harsh, it seems that’s just what the big man needed to shake the yips. And following that remark, Poeltl shot a respectable 73.3% at the free-throw line over his final 24 appearances.
Poeltl made massive strides from San Antonio’s opener to their season finale, yet he only raised his yearlong free throw percentage to 50.8%. And while it’s easy to scoff at such scanty efficiency from a professional basketball player, consistently nailing free throws isn’t as easy as it looks.
Now that the Silver and Black are officially on vacation, I’ve had a little more free time than usual. So, I hit up my local park to see if an Average Joe could fare better at the charity stripe than a starting NBA center, and I want to know if my fellow Pounders can outshoot Poeltl at the line too.
Jakob Poeltl Free Throw Challenge Rules
1.) Download the free HomeCourt App on your iPhone or Android device, make an account, and use the shooting workout function to track 20 free throws.
2.) Share the FIRST TAKE of your video from HomeCourt by copying and pasting the link they provide you in the app and sending it VIA EMAIL to Noah9914Magaro@gmail.com by JUNE 13th.
3.) Submitting a video counts as one entry into the random drawing for a $50 gift card to the NBA Store.
4.) Those who make 11 free throws, surpassing Jakob Poeltl’s percentage from this season, will receive a second entry into the random drawing.
5.) Those who make 16 free throws, one more than I made, will receive a third entry into the random drawing.
6.) I will announce the winner of the random drawing on JUNE 14th at NOON CST, so get out there and start shooting!