The Decade's Best: Free-throw shooting from 2010 to 2020

Jul 23, 2020 by Print

With an increasing number of close games, free-throw accuracy has become one of the crucial segments in a basketball game, particularly in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague. That is why consistently good free throw shooters are a precious commodity... and not only at the end of tight games. While making a free throw is far from given, some EuroLeague players during the past decade have done it at remarkable percentages, whether in a single season or a single game.


Nando De Colo is not only the best free-throw shooter in the past decade, but the foul shots he made between 2010 and 2020 make him the best free-throw shooter in competition history. In the past decade, De Colo went to the free-throw line 779 times and missed only 46 attempts. That is good for an outstanding 94.1% over the 180 games De Colo played in the uniforms of Valencia Basket, CSKA Moscow and Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul. He is the only player with at least 300 attempts in the decade to shoot free throws better than 90.0%.


There were 37 games during the 2010-19 decade in which a player made at least 10 free throws without a miss, but no one did it better than Nikola Mirotic. In Real Madrid's memorable 104-105 overtime road win against Zalgiris Kaunas on March 7, 2013, Mirotic shot 16 of 16 from the line in regulation, including 2 free throws with 3.4 seconds in the fourth quarter to make it 84-84 and send the game into overtime. Then he added 2 more in the extra session to lead Real to victory. Mirotic's record of 18 free throws without a miss remains the EuroLeague record. He scored a career-high 31 points in that game.


Several players have had stellar free-throw shooting seasons, but none better than Marcelinho Huertas's 2012-13 campaign. Playing for FC Barcelona, Huertas made 35 of 36 free throws that season for a decade-best 97.2%. Brock Motum also missed just one free throw, on 30 attempts, playing for Anadolu Efes Istanbul during the 2017-18 season. In total, six different qualified players shot better than 95% on free throws in a single season between 2010 and 2020, with Jaycee Carroll and Nando De Colo doing so twice each.