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Blazers Hassan Whiteside ‘Obsessed’ With Free Throws

Trail Blazers center Hassan Whiteside explained to The Athletic’s Jason Quick that he is focused on improving his free throw percentage.

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NBA: Denver Nuggets at Portland Trail Blazers Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Hassan Whiteside has been a model of efficiency since his debut with the Trail Blazers. The former Heat pivot is shooting 88.2 percent from the field and 80 percent from the free throw line. Whiteside’s early success from the charity stripe is a far cry from his 44.9 percent mark in the 2018-19 season.

According to the 30-year-old center, his improvement is all part of the plan. In a conversation with The Athletic’s Jason Quick, Whiteside acknowledged that he has made an effort to improve his efficiency from the free throw line.

“When I’m not good at something, I become obsessed about it,” Whiteside said. “So I was obsessed about free throws.”

Whiteside went on to explain how he has altered his hand placement and has clearly-defined goals for the season ahead.

Whiteside said “I plan on being an 80-percent-plus free throw shooter” — for two reasons. One, it will better allow him to play late in the game — “I know if you can’t foul me, it’s a whole different thing” — and it just might convince Stotts to give Whiteside the green light on 3-pointers, which the 7-foot-1 center views as his next evolution.

The former Marshall standout owns a 59.5 free throw percentage for his career. As for Whiteside’s three-point shooting aspirations, the big fella converted two of his 16 attempts in the 2018-19 season.

You can read Quick’s full story at The Athletic (subscription required).