Not that most players need a reminder who among them has the best stats.
“Oh they know it, they know it,” Oklahoma City’s Scott Brooks said. “They will trip each other in order to get (to the line).”
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said he rarely gets involved in the who-shoots-it decision.
“We’re not doing it by straws, I’ll tell you that,” Spoelstra said.
Still, there are times when the logic gets questioned, especially when outstanding shooters like James Jones or Mario Chalmers are on the floor for Miami. Even in those instances, chances are if LeBron James _ a 77 percent shooter this year, sixth best among the Heat regulars _ is on the floor, he’ll likely take the shot.
“We’ve talked about it and I get it,” Spoelstra said. “Primarily, usually, it’ll be the best free throw shooter. In a couple different circumstances, i.e., if one guy’s in rhythm and he’s shot a lot of free throws in that quarter and made quite a few of them, he’ll step in and shoot it.”
And the formula isn’t just a mystery to Spoelstra. Heat star Dwyane Wade _ only a 73 percent shooter this season _ doesn’t know the exact method for picking a shooter, either.
He just knows he won’t be the guy.
“I’m not in the conversation,” Wade said. “I don’t even look at the free throw line when a technical comes, because I know there’s probably at least three guys on the floor shooting a better percentage than me. Most of the time it goes by percentage _ but LeBron, he pretty much runs up there and takes it. … We don’t care. We just want him to make it.”
Brooks’ team has an easy choice in scoring champion Kevin Durant, among the league’s top 10 foul shooters.
“Kevin was terrific last year shooting (techs),” Brooks said. “I think he made like, I don’t know, 45 out of 46.”
Teams such as New Orleans (Chris Paul), Phoenix (Steve Nash) and Dallas (Dirk Nowitzki) also can rely on their best player. Boston’s Ray Allen is a career 89 percent shooter who has normally shot the techs on all three of his NBA teams, but said occasionally it’s best to look elsewhere.
“Sometimes a guy needs a free throw to get himself going,” Allen said. “So you just kind of defer to him and say, ‘Go ahead and get a shot up, free shot, get your feel with the ball.’”
Other times it’s better to go with the guy who has the hot hand, which is why Spoelstra will allow players in rhythm to shoot. He’ll point to someone if nobody goes to the line, but players rarely need the help.
“I don’t have to call out. They know,” Rambis said with a smile. “Believe me, they know.”