Over the past three season, the Toronto Raptors as a team shot on average, 80.8 per cent from the free throw line.
This was one of the areas that the Dinos consistently topped the rest of the league in fact.
However much to fans' chagrin, the team never seemed to be able to take advantage of this effectiveness at the line because outside of Chris Bosh, no one got to the foul line with any regularity.
This year, players like DeMar DeRozan and Hedo Turkoglu might help in this area, however with the subtraction of foul line aces like Anthony Parker and Jason Kapono, and the addition of less-than-stellar chuckers like Amir Johnson and Reggie Evans, I don't expect the team to be able to replicate its recent 80 per cent average.
Evans in particular is a concern in this area considering that he's a 53 per cent career free-throw shooter whose success at the line replicates a certain Mr. Wallace.
If Evans is going to play major minutes this season due to his rebounding abilities and grit, he can't be a complete offensive liability out there otherwise it's going to be like Jamario Moon Part II; teams will gang up on the other four Raptors on the court and dare Reggie to hoist it up.
Even worse, if Toronto needs help on the glass late in close games, it's going to be tough to validate having Evans on the court because opposing teams may take to the "hack-an-Evans" technique considering his foul shooting woes.
My hope therefore is that Mr. Evans has been watching videos like the following this off-season and working on his free-throw technique:
He doesn't need to become Steve Nash in this capacity overnight, but it would be nice if he could get things up into the high 60's or low 70's at least. And considering that in college he actually averaged about 62 per cent from the line, you have to think it's possible.
However I'm not going to go as far as say that Reggie should be practicing his free-throw shooting with his eyes closed just yet...