When a basketball player has a chance to score a point, they have two options. They can either shoot a free throw or take a regular shot.
A free throw is exactly what it sounds like–a shot from the line that is free of defenders and worth one point. A regular shot, on the other hand, is not taken from the line and is worth two points if made.
There are many reasons why players might choose each option for various situations, but what makes the difference? Let’s break it down.
What is a free throw?
A free throw is a shot taken from the line that is free of defenders and worth one point. When a player shoots a free throw, they are shooting with no defensive players around them and they will always be in range for the ball.
The goal of this type of shot is to do all the work themselves–they don’t need any help from their teammates.
I found the video below as an example of how differently some players take free throws. Not every player has the same mentality and nerve to execute a perfect throw.
What is an Ordinary shot?
A regular shot is a shot taken from the field and is worth two points if made. A player may choose to take a regular shot before or after a free throw.
A player might choose to take a regular shot instead of a free throw if they need to make more than one point during the game, such as when they are behind.
The Difference Between Them
A free throw and a regular shot differ in how the opponent defends them. A free throw is taken without any defenders to worry about, which takes away one of the shooter’s worries. This makes it easier to score.
With a regular shot, the defender has an extra person to worry about–the player guarding him. It becomes much more difficult to score.
The other difference between them is their difficulty level. Free throws are much harder than regular shots because they require less skill and precision.
Players only need to shoot the ball from 15 feet away; this is not too hard for most players to make on a consistent basis.
Regular shots, on the other hand, require more skill and precision because they’re not taken from a straight line like free throws are.
These shots also take more effort and energy because they’re made from farther away, which can tire players out quicker if they’re taking too many of them.
Why You Might Choose One Over the Other
The difference between a free throw and a regular shot isn’t as one-sided as you might think.
While there are many reasons why players might choose to go for a free throw or a regular shot, the most common reason is the difference in points.
When taking a free throw, if you make it, you’re awarded one point and your team gets possession of the ball. If not, you get nothing and your team doesn’t take possession of it.
With a regular shot, if made, you’ve now earned two points for your team and they take possession of the ball.
However, if it’s not made, then your opponent secures possession but they only earn one point. You can also lose control of the ball during a free throw without getting anything in return–which is not the case for a regular shot–and there’s always the chance that you’ll miss entirely and give up an easy basket to your opponents.
Generally speaking, experienced players will choose to shoot from the two-point range because it offers them more control over their score than shooting from the line does. But if they’re inexperienced, or need to regain some momentum on offense before scoring again (since they can’t dribble), then they may opt for a free throw instead.
In basketball, there are two types of shots: a free throw and a regular shot.
In a free throw, the player shooting the ball is shooting from where they are standing on the court. They use their hands to shoot from inside the free-throw line. The opposing team must get out of the player’s way.
In a regular shot, the player shooting the ball can move around the court. They can take the ball from anywhere on the court and shoot it. The opposing team does not get out of the player’s way.
When a player has an opportunity to choose which type of shot to take in a given situation, they should consider what their team needs. If they want to get closer to the basket to score, then they should take a regular shot. If they want to get away from the basket where you’re at, then you should take a free throw.