Friday, May 24, 2024

SAN ANTONIO — It has been difficult for San Antonio Spurs forward Jeremy Sochan to find much to laugh about in a season that on Tuesday night produced yet another double-digit loss for his team.

Somehow, it seems that everyone finds something funny whenever Sochan steps to the foul line for a free throw.

The 130-118 defeat the Utah Jazz gave the Spurs at Frost Bank Center left them at 4-25 with too many of those losses linked to the team’s experiment with the 6-foot-8 Sochan as starting point guard.

That exercise has been deemed a failure and scrapped with Sochan back at forward in a starting lineup that puts rookie sensation Victor Wembanyama at center and second-year guard Malaki Branham at the point.

However, a prior experiment with Sochan continues to be a rousing success: His quirky one-handed free-throw form makes nearly everyone smile.

With a form that may well be unique in the history of the game, the only time Sochan touches the basketball with his left hand occurs when he uses both hands to catch it when tossed by a referee. Then, so quickly one can scarcely notice, he positions his right hand under the ball while simultaneously releasing his left hand and instantly beginning his shooting stroke. Completed with a picture-perfect release, the new form has produced dramatic improvement that Gregg Popovich appreciates and Sochan’s teammates marvel at.

After making both free throws after being fouled on Tuesday night, Sochan is 112 of 148 from the line in the 62 games he has played since switching to the one-handed shot, a healthy 75.7 percent.

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