I’m seeking attributions for this losing streak other than “Monta and Steph can’t play together! Trade your less favorite in Mindland!” The main causes for the slide are Lee’s absence and a bench that only covers asses in the literal sense. But I’m noticing a flaw in a favorite player–a problem that might speak to a larger one: Andris Biedrins’s free throw troubles have spawned free throw avoidance.
When Biedrins fell apart at the line last year, it was a minor cough that quickly turned typhoid. He was never good (career .515), but somehow Andris hurtled lower than blind fish. It was a mysterious fall and I chalked it up to injuries and general negative Nellie chaos. It wasn’t like the Warriors were destined for greatness, Andris was throwing frozen ropes into a vacuum. When Goose dropped from 3.5 attempted free throws, all the way to .8, I barely blinked because an apathetic Nelson never blinked–while he unleashed Dr. Strangelove lunacy every time my eye lids clapped.
New year, new coach, new owners. But the raven’s still sitting on a Pallas bust, squinting at Andris. It’s a small sample size, but haunted Biedrins is shooting .222. And the small sample size is precisely what concerns.
Incredibly, Goose is attempting .6 free throws per game, over the course of 27 minutes. This meager a total is almost an accomplishment–he must be contorting from contact like a skittish eel. But the avoidance is hurting his PER (Around 5 points lower than he used to post), plus dulling an already predictable offense.
And–this is highly subjective–what I hate most is the attitude surrounding his troubles. The idea is that Andris simply can’t shoot free throws anymore–can’t make them ever–is almost embedded in the culture. As though the difference between 55% and 16% happened logically, leading to an immutable state. It’s a loser’s mentality, a mindset more familiar than the troubles chasing the Latvian.