NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Robert M. Lantis

Ball State University
2000 West University Ave.
Muncie, IN 47306

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: Ball State University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

November 2019Hot Shots: An Analysis of the ‘Hot Hand’ in NBA Field Goal and Free Throw Shooting
with Erik T. Nesson: w26510
We investigate the hot hand hypothesis using detailed data on free throws and field goal attempts for the 2004-2005 through 2015-2016 NBA regular seasons. Free throws represent a more controlled setting, allowing a closer examination of the potential physiological mechanisms behind success in repeated motions, while field goal attempts represent the setting most observers have in mind when commenting on a player’s repeated shooting success. We examine these two settings together, within the same players in the same games, permitting a more comprehensive analysis of the hot hand. We find a small hot hand effect for free throws, which more than doubles for longer streaks of consecutively made free throws. However, if a player makes a field goal, he is no more or less likely to make his next ...
 
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