There are plenty of numbers that illustrate just how brilliant Chicago Sky forward Elena Delle Donne has been in the early part of the 2015 season.
But the ones that may be most impressive involve one of the game’s simplest plays: the free throw.
EDD has made 58 consecutive foul shots — eight shy of the WNBA record of 66 set by Cleveland Rockers forward Eva Nemcova across two seasons (1999-2000).
58 consecutive foul shots.
But to call Delle Donne’s perfect stretch at the line a “streak” would be missing one key point: This is normal for her.
That 100-percent accuracy over her last six-plus games is not far off from her career mark of 94.3 percent, the best in WNBA history. She’s missed a total of 20 free throws in her 56 career games and is 91-of-93 (97.8%) overall this season.
More notes on EDD’s free throw prowess:
- Combined with her college shooting (773/849, 91%), Delle Donne has made 1,105 of 1,201 foul shots over her last seven seasons.
- Her accuracy is virtually unmatched in basketball period, let alone women’s basketball. Steve Nash (90.43%), Mark Price (90.39%) and Stephen Curry (90%) rank as the top three in free throw percentage in NBA history — albeit with many, many more attempts than Delle Donne.
- The NBA record for consecutive free throws made is 97 by Michael Williams (March 24, 1993 – Nov. 9, 1993), who’s followed by Jose Calderon (87), Dirk Nowitzki (82) and Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf (81). The NBA record for single-season free throw percentage is 98.1% by Calderon in 2008-09.
- EDD is 332/352 (94.3%) in her WNBA career. The last NBA player to attempt at least 300 free throws in a single season while making at least 94% of them was Price in 1992-93.
- What makes Delle Donne so deadly is not just her accuracy at the line but her ability to get to the line in the first place. She’s scored 91 points at the line, 34 more than any other player this season, and her 9.3 attempts per game would surpass Angel McCoughtry’s all-time high 8.7 in 2011.