Guys Worth Fouling

I was checking out Dwight Howard’s stats and noticed that this year his field goal percentage (0.626) is higher than his free throw percentage (0.599). That led me to wonder if anyone’s pulled this trick over the course of a full season, and it looks like both Ben Wallace and Shaquille O’Neal did it regularly.

The key thing I would note about Howard is that even though his free throw percentage is very poor, him going to the charity stripe is still a fairly high-efficiency offensive play—just less efficient than most people’s free throw shooting. The same was true for Shaq in his heyday, but more recently he’s started turning in seasons where his free throw percentage is well below fifty percent, which turns it into a real liability in certain situations.