Film Room: 5 Keys to Increase Free Throw Attempts

By Josh Cohen
Oct. 11, 2016

Force Defensive Switches

Effective screens and taking advantage of mismatches often coerces opponents to foul. When you have a speedy, explosive perimeter player against a slower, more systematic defender, the outcome is typically favorable for the offensive team. Watch how a ball screen helps Elfrid Payton exploit Portland’s defense:

Excel in Pick-and-Roll

It helps that Orlando has three big guys who are all comfortable rolling to the basket. Nikola Vucevic, Serge Ibaka and Bismack Biyombo are extremely good pick-and-roll players. Sometimes the roll man is left unattended when the defense chooses to go over the screen. The last resort for the opponent is to have a defender from the weak side step over to try and contest. Watch Kyle Lowry and Biyombo team up for a textbook pick-and-roll and Kevin Love is unable to plant his feet in time:

Good Pump Fakes

A good shot fake is one of the most underrated tools in basketball. It challenges defenders mentally and physically. It makes it hard for them to keep their balance and anticipate the action. Watch how a solid pump fake from Aaron Gordon gets Dirk Nowitzki off his feet:

Play Fast and Furious

If you get ahead of the defense they will foul to try and slow you down. Teams that thrive in transition tend to draw a lot of fouls because it sometimes is the only way to prevent easy fast break points. Watch how a terrific defensive play allows the Magic to run in transition and initiate contact on the other end:

Exhaust Opponent

The harder a team works the more they fatigue their opponent. The best way to tire out an opponent is by grabbing offensive rebounds and getting second or even third chance scoring opportunities. At some point, the defense will be inclined to foul to catch their collective breath. Other times, hustle will lead to a wide open shot: