The Adam Bonefeste Theory of Basketball Endgame

It’s too bad that no one in America saw the ending to the Oral Roberts/Arkansas-Little Rock game earlier this week, because it was awesome. Games that end with full-court, buzzer-beating shots are always thrilling. In case you missed it, check out the final seconds in the video below, courtesy of ESPN.

To recap, Oral Roberts was down by two with three seconds left. Oral hit two free throws, then – in a moment of glory – picked off a full court pass and made an incredible shot from the opposite free throw line to win the game as time expired.

It’s times like this that we remember the Ryan Spencer Rule. Fate really does smile on those who make free throws at the end of a basketball game.

In the same vein, it’s also times like this that bring into view my own personal theory about how basketball games end. Please keep in mind that this is just a theory, it’s not stone-cold truth like the RSR, but hear me out:

The Adam Bonefeste Theory of Basketball Endgame states that every basketball team should designate one player who otherwise would not see game action to practice half- to full-court shots relentlessly until he can shoot a respectable percentage from that range in case a situation arises in which that particular skill is beneficial.

It’s pretty simple – every team has at least two players that don’t play. These guys might hold towels or squirt water bottles or hold other players back when big shots are made, but there is a 0.000% chance they are ever in the lineup at crunch time. Statistically, these guys belong to club trillion, logging one minute all season and not recording any meaningful stats.

Why not pick the best shooter out of the scrubs and make him the official last-second, full-court, desperation shot-shooter? Have him shoot 100 shots a day from half, ¾ and full court in practice until he raises his percentage on that shot to something respectable (It won’t be 50%, but a guy with some practice might be able to consistently make 30% of half-court shots or 15% from ¾-court).

Think about it. Often a basketball game ends with plenty of free throws, timeouts and other offense- or defense-specific substitutions. Why not slip this deep bench player in before a free throw. While the defense is busy double-covering Kobe with one second left, Andrew Goudelock has a wide open half-courter for the W.

Even if this method doesn’t work in every game, it won’t do any harm. Even if he just makes that shot one extra time out of five, that’s still a half a win or so each season. And there’s absolutely no drawback.

A super-long-distance specialist could be a huge benefit for a team in a close game. Think about it. In fact, leave a comment about it.

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