Hoopla over Hopla

MIKE GANTER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:32 AM ET

Former Raptors shooting coach Dave Hopla is making an impression with the Washington Wizards.

Hopla, who was with the Raptors for a portion of last season after joining them in late November, has been with the Wizards since the beginning of the season.

Seven different Wizards have improved their free-throw percentage.

Caron Butler, one of the hottest players in the NBA, leads the team with a 91.5% success rate from the line and has hit 70 in a row. He's eight shy of the NBA single-season record set by Calvin Murphy of the Houston Rockets in 1980-81.

As a team, the Wizards have moved from 11th overall in the league last season at the line to fourth overall.

Butler's success rate from the line is fourth overall in the NBA behind a trio, headed by the Raptors' Jose Calderon, who has only missed seven free throws all season in 82 attempts. He is tied with Boston's Ray Allen and Chicago's Ben Gordon with a 92.3% success rate.

DAMON DERBY DROPOUT

The Boston Celtics apparently have decided not to pursue veteran guard Damon Stoudamire, according to espn.com.

The 34-year-old former Raptor will be free to sign with any team at 6 p.m. today after being waived by the Memphis Grizzlies. The Raptors, San Antonio Spurs and Phoenix Suns are thought to be most interested in his services.

PRINT THE TICKETS

ESPN's John Hollinger is predicting as a near-certainty that the Raptors will make the playoffs this season. According to Hollinger's Playoff Odds, the Raps have a 99.8% chance of making the playoffs this year based on factors such as their current standing and remaining strength of schedule.


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