Chicago Shoots 87% from the Line!
It finally happened. Dr. Tom was officially hired to coach free throw shooting in the NBA. And anyone who had any doubt about his free throw shooting method, or his coaching ability, was immediately proved wrong.
Chicago Bulls Coach Bill Cartwright flew Dr. Tom Amberry to the Windy
City, 2002 where he worked with the team for a week. At that point, the
Bulls had eight players shooting less than 70 percent from the foul line.
The team as a whole had slipped to about a 60 percent free throw shooting
Dr. Tom spoke with the team, then worked one-on-one with the players. Two weeks later, the team shot 80 percent from the line during a game with the Wizards, making 20 out of 25 free throws.
Among the players Dr. Tom has coached is Eddy Curry, Tyson Chandler, Charles Oakley and Ron Artest.
"He helped me," Artest said. "Last year, I was 60 percent and now Iím up to, like, 75" percent from the line.
"Itís good for us to get pointers," Oakley said. "If he can make 2,000 in a row, Iím just listening."
The next time Dr. Tom met with the Bulls was in early February when they came to Los Angeles to play the first place Lakers. The Bulls stunned the Lakers, beating them 97 to 89 thanks to clutch free throws in the final minutes. Each time the Lakers threatened to pull even, the Bulls made their free throws and pulled into the lead. The team made 27 out of 31 free throws for a team average of 87 percent.
During that game, Kevin Ollie made 11 of 12 free throws.
Dr. Tom has had nothing but praise for the support he has gotten from Coach Cartwright and the Bullsí staff. The players have also been receptive. "They are beginning to realize that with the right mechanics, and enough practice, they can make these crucial points when they really count. Performance under pressure - thatís what free throw shooting is all about."