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Nowitzki Addresses Free Throw Struggles

November 23, 2010

Dirk Nowitzki has always been automatic from the stripe. 88% career, 92% last year. This year he’s shooting a shocking 83%. Give the big German a few more games. It’ll be buckets in no time.

From ESPN:

DALLAS — Dirk Nowitzki is shooting 83.1 percent from the free throw line, which is fine until you realize that Nowitzki’s 83 percent is like most players’ 63 percent.

“Usually I’m not shooting the ball great from the free throw line early in the season and usually as the season gets along I start shooting it better from month to month,” Nowitzki said. “But, this is definitely a tough couple games here.”

The Dallas Mavericks’ 7-foot forward is a career 87.5 percent shooter from the stripe. Last season he made 91.5 percent and has eclipsed 90 percent in three of the past five seasons. So, when Nowitzki misses five out of 13 attempts in two games, including going just 3-of-6 Friday night against Chicago Bulls, it’s easy to take notice.

Twice already in 12 games this season, Nowitzki has shot 50 percent from the free throw line. He made 2-of-4 on Oct. 31 at the Los Angeles Clippers, and he’s missed at least two free throws in five games. Fifty players currently own a better percentage from the foul line.

“Really, I hate missing free throws because it’s free points and I hate leaving those out there,” Nowitzki said. “So, definitely just got to focus on them more, shoot a couple extra in practice. But, that’s not really something I worry about.”

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