Statistic: FTR (Free Throw Rate)
What is it?
- Free Throw Rate or FTR is the ratio of Free Throw Attempts to Field Goal Attempts.
- Free Throw Rate is calculated by dividing Free Throw Attempts by Field Goal Attempts. The formula is FTA/FGA.
Why should I be interested?
- Because teams play at very different paces, looking at the simple number of free throws they attempt per game is not always the best way to judge their efficiency and effectiveness in attacking the basket. Free Throw Rate essentially accounts for pace by comparing the number of Free Throws Attempted to Field Goals Attempted.
- For example, Phoenix typically plays at a very fast pace. A faster pace means more possessions. More possessions means more opportunities to get to the free throw line. However, a team like Portland, which plays at a very slow pace, might get to the line fewer times per game, but be more likely to get to the line on each individual possession. By dividing a team or player’s free throw attempts by their field goal attempts you account for the relative pace that the team plays at.
Why should I be skeptical?
- Don’t be skeptical, but use it in conjunction with other statistics. When a team has a very high or low Free Throw Rate, be sure to look at the numbers for individual players to see who is responsible for it.
- When looking at Free Throw Rate for individual players, be sure to look at the number of minutes they play. It is easy for a player who only sees the floor a few minutes a night to have an inflated Free Throw Rate that may not be indicative of their true abilities. It may also be that the inflated Free Throw Rate is not actually a huge positive for their team if they only play a few minutes per game.
Where can I find it?
- Free Throw Rate can be found on the player or team pages of several stats websites. Here are some of my favorites:
Draftexpress NBA Stats