As much as I’d like to blame the sound of Reggie Miller’s voice on Joakim Noah’s free throw from the other night, I think the real culprit is mechanical failure. The way the ball comes out on Noah’s shot you’d think his left hand was on his right arm. Honestly, just take a look at this monstrosity:
SCREAMING at this Joakim Noah airball FT and his reaction pic.twitter.com/8Tjpxcu10L— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) January 24, 2017
The horror! Up until the past few seasons Noah has actually shot a totally reasonable percentage. He’s a .699% shooter for his career. That’s respectable. He’s not the guy you get the ball to in a late game foul situation but you don’t have to get him off the floor either. This year that’s not the case as he’s shooting a putrid .417%. That’s fifth-worst in the league among guys who have taken at least three free throws. So with better than 70 attempts, he’s now the guy other teams look to hack in an effort to get the ball back. The worry of going to the line and failing probably weighs on his ability and willingness to attack the rim. Thankfully we haven’t been subjected to too much hack-a-Jo.
So how do you go about fixing this? A basic little shot rebuild where he just makes an effort to guide the ball up onto his middle finger? No probably not. The 420 funky junky things he does leading into the release make it so that he will probably never unlearn some of his bad habits. One thing I noticed when over-analyzing his shot is that he does something that would enable him to comfortably try out granny shots! Take a look at his gather.
Both hands fit all comfy-cozy under the ball. That has the makings of a classic granny! When he does the shot his way, you can see Noah wrench it over, hoist it up, re-settle it above his head and he is practically clutching the ball with his thumb and he twists it outward then flicks his wrist. That fluidity is the type of thing that sets faucets on fire. Because of his thumb the ball gets this whirlpool spin on it as it bricks violently off the heel or just tornadoes away from the bucket entirely. There are so many working parts, it’s really a jolt to the ticker.
If you ask me (and you do), it’s probably time to remove this shot’s tonsils. For years players have tried to wrap their heads around Noah’s sidewinder and while there are many theories, I’ve yet to see any real conclusions. Hence the granny shot! Get rid of the excess. It’s cool to be uncool.
Now I don’t know entirely how to teach the granny. Rick Barry will tell anyone that will listen, though. So I’m sure you could just change the dress code to force Noah to shave his sideburns. When he refuses to do so, you can fine him like $10,000 a day. He’ll probably refuse and eventually demand a trade. At which point you can call up Rick Barry ask him to work with Noah on the granny shot, and kaboom! Ship him to Juneau for a FrostDonkey to be named later.