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Lakers altering Dwight Howard's free-throw routine


11:01 AM ET 10.28 | Dwight Howard steps up to the free-throw line. Everybody knows what's usually next. Clang. If there's a nit to pick in Howard's game, it's at the line. He's a career 58.8% free-throw shooter, and it's not an upward trend. The Lakers' center was only 49.1% last season with Orlando, missing more free-throw attempts (291) than he made (281) for the first time in his eight-year career. So the Lakers have tracked every one of his shots from the stripe since they acquired him in August, even in scrimmages and after practice when players shoot individually. "He's just a little bit above 80%," said Lakers assistant coach Chuck Person. Eighty percent? Howard? To avoid too many coaches dispensing too much advice, Coach Mike Brown designated Person as the lone Lakers voice to help Howard solve his free-throw woes. Person has already changed two things. Howard used to set up at the line with the ball at his waist. Now he starts a bit below his chin. Person also worked to change Howard's unorthodox release.

Los Angeles Times

Dwight Howard, Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images Dwight Howard, Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images
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October 28, 2012  11:24 AM ET

Bring in Shaq to teach him how to throw errr shoot free throws

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October 28, 2012  11:37 AM ET

MMA also tried helping him to no avail in orlando

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October 28, 2012  11:51 AM ET

They even hired Mark Price to come in and help him.I saw the same cycle with Shaq in Orlando. They bring in different people to try new things but in the end it just never seems to change. At first it makes it worse because everyone makes them use their system and the adjustment period slows things down.Some guys just can't shoot free throws in games.

Didn't they also try Rick Berry?

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October 28, 2012  12:01 PM ET

I don't remember him helping?

Sorry with Shaq

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October 28, 2012  01:24 PM ET

There's some truth to this and I have a theory why he struggles.In practice he often hits an enormous amount of freethrows without missing. I read once that he could shoot 100 without missing. But in games he is very physical and if you watch him he is always shoving and moving guys around. I believe his arms and shoulders fill up with blood and makes his upper body get a little stiffer in his shooting motion. That's why in games he doesn't so well.When GSP fought BJ Penn the second time he knew he couldn't allow BJ to use his strikes and he didn't want to go to the ground with BJ. So his game plan was to shove BJ up against the fence and make him grapple so his arms would fill with blood and cause his strikes to be slower. I think in Dwight's case his physical style takes away from his shooting touch.

I test fell asleep with my arms on top of my head. I couldn't make a free throw if my life depended on it.

October 28, 2012  01:28 PM ET

"Lakers altering Dwight Howard's free-throw routine."

Seems like Dwight is on the same timeline as Shaq. Takes his team to the Finals in Orlando, later jumps ship to LA and now altering his free-throw routine. Dare I say a title comes next or will this be the new version of the 03-04 Lakers?

October 28, 2012  01:43 PM ET

whoops, Just fell asleep

October 28, 2012  02:06 PM ET

If he can improve his free throws it will help the rest of his game as well.

October 29, 2012  05:19 PM ET

The real problem is Dwight's hands are too big and his brain too small


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