What happens when you let a 45 percent free-throw shooter take a technical foul free throw? What do you think?
The quick-and-dirty scouting breakdown of Clippers center DeAndre Jordan goes something like this: great athlete, prolific rebounder, amazing dunker, pathetic foul shooter.
Indeed, the 6-foot-11 Jordan has shot just 43.2 percent from the free-throw line during his six-year career, and he's hitting just 45.3 percent from the stripe this season. That lack of proficiency has made him a Hack-a-Shaq target, and Jordan's potential status as a late-game liability is one of the biggest questions for the Clippers as they approach the postseason.
Those charity stripe struggles didn't stop coach Doc Rivers from giving Jordan the rare opportunity to shoot a technical foul free throw during the closing minutes of L.A.'s 102-80 blowout victory over Cleveland at the Staples Center on Sunday. That's right, a task usually reserved for a team's top marksman or leading scorer was handed to Jordan, who is currently the second-worst qualified free-throw shooter in the league, topping only Pistons center Andre Drummond (42.3 percent).
Jordan got his chance to deliver with 1:19 remaining in the game, after Spencer Hawes was ejected for arguing a call. Hawes believed that Jordan had gone over his back for a rebound; instead, Hawes was called for a foul and Jordan was awarded two free throws on the play. In between Jordan's two attempts, Hawes was sent to the showers and the Clippers were given the technical free throw. Rather than switch in a different shooter, Rivers let Jordan line up the extra shot with the lanes cleared. The try missed badly.
"Darn it," Clippers play-by-play man Ralph Lawler said after the shot fell well short, drawing front rim.
In case you wondering, Rivers' other options were: Willie Green (84.4 percent from the line), Reggie Bullock (77.8 percent), Matt Barnes (71.6 percent), and Hedo Turkoglu (46.2 percent on just 13 attempts).
All told, Jordan went 0-for-3 from the line on the trip -- as he missed both free throws for Hawes' foul -- and finished 1-for-4 from the stripe on the night. It didn't matter, as he checked out to a standing ovation from the home crowd moments later, having posted 15 points (on 7-for-8 shooting) and 11 rebounds in the victory.
The Clippers improved to 48-20 on the season with their eleventh straight win. The Cavaliers
dropped to 26-41 with the loss.