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Friday, November 8th, 2013 at 10:45 am  |  87 responses

Dwight Howard Unable to Hit Free Throws in Loss to the Lakers


Late in the fourth quarter of a tight game, Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni employed a method that he absolutely hated when Dwight Howard was playing for him. Hack-a-Howard worked to perfection, even as the big fella clownishly tried to run away from the intentional fouls, and the Rockets went down in dramatic fashion. Per NBA.com: “There were those dozen free-throw attempts that the Lakers gave Howard in the fourth quarter that he might not have had more trouble getting down if he’d been trying to swallow logs. It was a 99-98 L.A. win in the first week of November that revealed precious little about how Howard’s old team or his new one will look in the meat of the schedule. But it was an opportunity for the Lakers to exorcise four months of abandonment feelings left by the only high profile star to ever pull up stakes and walk out on the NBA’s most glamorous franchise and it was a night for the Rockets to remember that though they won the $80-million free agent tug ‘o war, their prize doesn’t come without inherent flaws. ‘We’ll see them again,’ Howard said. ‘There’s so many emotions, we’d have to go through and array of stuff,’ said Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni. ‘We win on the road the first time. We beat a good team. We played better. I mean, down there somewhere, yeah, I’m human. It’s great (to beat Howard). He made his choice, which is good. You’ve got to respect that. He’s fine. They’re gonna have a great team and he’s a great player.’ However, in this game Howard was little more than average, scoring 15 points, grabbing 14 rebounds and looking confined and uncomfortable. [...] A year ago, as Howard’s coach, D’Antoni chafed at the rules when opponents intentionally fouled his All-Star center when games were on the line. But with the Rockets wiping out a 19-point Laker lead and riding James Harden’s 35 points to surge in front midway through the fourth quarter, D’Antoni wasn’t at all averse to hacking the big man at every opportunity. Howard finished up shooting 5-for-16 on free throws for the night and was 5-for-12 in the fourth quarter. From the time the Lakers first hacked Howard with 3:24 left in the game, Harden never scored again. ‘I thought it went real well because we took Harden out of the game,’ D’Antoni said. ‘I think it worked pretty good. And he made foul shots. That’s about as good as he’ll do. “Harden’s tough to guard 1-on-1 and I’d rather have Dwight there instead of Harden. That’s not gonna work all the time. That doesn’t mean you’re not gonna use it if it’s out there. I’m not crazy. But if I could change it, I would probably change the rule.’”

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  • Saleem Rainman

    ” That’s about as good as he’ll do” shots fired lmao

  • http://twitter.com/niQknacks niQ

    Why didn’t they just bench Dwight if the Lakers were doing this with 3:25 left in the game. Sucks they had to use this tactic but it worked.

  • Cortez Mack

    Then the Rockets would have to deal with his fragile and delusional ego. Remember, a major part of the reason he left the Lakers is because he want to be a featured “go to guy”, especially in the 4th quarters of games. Benching him because he is not effective in the 4th quarter of tight games would drive him to ask for a trade or a major hissy fit.

    Looking at him run helplessly from the defender in a futile attempt to not get exposed at the free throw line was hilarious.

    By the way, I love the tactic. The “solution” is very simple and requires no rule change whatsoever. A “superstar” professional basketball player should be able to hit a stand still uncontested 13.5′ shot a high clip.

    …Edit: Any serious basketball player above 10 years of age should be able to hit a stand still uncontested 13.5′ shot a high clip.

  • underdog
  • ATL dynamite

    This isn’t news, next

  • Sizzle

    Dwight man, you seriously perplex me. Since you have come into the league you literally developed at a snails pace. Your lack of low post moves, your constant humorous nature and horrendous foul shooting make you better suited for a Globetrotters game. Please, if you do one thing in the next 5 years, for the love of god learn how to make a foul shot, because you clearly don’t bother working on anything else.

  • Cortez Mack

    Chris Webber became an effective jumpshooter after shooting like he was tossing bowling balls at the rim for years. Too bad it was after he could not jump very high anymore.

    “…your constant humorous nature and horrendous foul shooting make you better suited for a Globetrotters game.”

    I never realized how appropriate this statement was until just now.

  • robb

    plus B-Rabbit drained the game winner over him. lol

  • JoeMaMa

    Old school free throw guy: Dwight! Shoot em under handed!!! Just try it!!
    Dwight: But….I’ll look like a moron.
    Guy: Well, you look like one now!
    Dwight: Yeah…but…you see…hehe…
    *walks away*
    *farts*

  • Dfrance

    Classic!

  • Enigmatic

    This looks familiar to Jack Nicholson (8 seconds in, NSFW language) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kfog6nS-N8I

  • Dfrance

    I really think Dwight needs to consult Karl Malone on how to improve his free throw shooting. While his form is stiff and robotic, its not the one hand chuck we saw Shaq “perfect” over the years, I just think he’s too strong to put the right touch on the ball.

    Karl Malone had the same issue early on, decent form, he just had them Louisiana country boy arms and couldn’t finesse the rock. But over the years through that funny hitch and knee bending, he was able to soften his shot and become not only an above average free throw shooter, but an above average jump shooter as well.

  • bike

    When KAJ first showed up at UCLA he was a lousy FT shooter. Wooden sat him down and explained why a big man who can’t shoot free throws is a serious liability especially in close game situations. KAJ got it, Wooden stayed on his case, and eventually became a decent FT shooter.
    .
    Why this never happed w/ Dwight is a complete mystery to me.

  • Cortez Mack

    The answer is simple…

    Dwight Howard likely does not “love” basketball. Howard happens to be a human being with a body situated to be an effective basketball player.

    He loves the access to other things that basketball brings him (money, fame, dames, etc). I am sure he likes playing ball on some level but I believe it is in a similar fashion that I like to shoot pool. Yeah, it is fun and I play on a regular basis, but I am not about to spend the thousands of hours it would take to be a highly skilled player.

    The bottom line is this: hitting free throws or not, he just signed a max deal and is a sought after pitchman. Any lip service given to “dying to win” is 1 of 2 things…

    1. The same premise of that lazy bum you know talking about he wants to be rich.

    2. Talking about not loving the game explicitly marks you as a loser, hence, effecting your future cash and your current accolades.

    Like Jay-Z said “You want me to go? Fool, I’m already gone. I’m already home.”

    By the way, this is perfectly fine by me. I can only dream about being so “terrible”.

  • Anthony

    “Clownishly”…..I see what you did there!

  • Cortez Mack

    Victim list:

    1. Lyckety-Splyt

    2. Lotto

    3. Poppa Doc

    4. John Gilchrist

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zo5nRPC6uw8

    5. Dwight Howard

  • Shooting Guard

    Hahaha good lord you are good

  • Seth

    Those trash talk spoofs are really good. There’s more than one.

  • heh8meN1
  • Dfrance

    My wife and I watched these for like 30 mins laughing our butts off. Bosh cannot catch a break. lol

  • Harvey

    “Now everybody from the 313″!!

  • Enigmatic

    Yup! I’ve seen all of them and check back every few weeks for a new one haha.

  • Enigmatic

    I usually don’t like gay-bashing Bosh jokes but his are too funny so I end up laughing for a good 2 minutes, then feeling really bad about it for a few minutes and then laughing again each time I see them.

  • Lloyd

    Really watching Dwight run from the intentional foul was funnier than watching a team chase a grown man around instead of playing defence because that was their only chance of winning?

    The intentional foul for this purpose is horrible, especially from a viewers standpoint. No one wants to watch a continually bad freethrow exhibition. I wouldn’t be surprised if the NBA changes the rule.

  • bike

    That’s no doubt a spot on analysis. I couldn’t help but notice, despite putting up good numbers, that Dwight still looked like he lacked motivation in last night’s LA win. I mean, if he can’t get up for a game against a team that he thinks did him dirty, what will he ever get amped about?

  • Cortez Mack

    “Really watching Dwight run from the intentional foul was funnier than watching a team chase a grown man around instead of playing defence because that was their only chance of winning?”

    Yes.

    “The intentional foul for this purpose is horrible”

    If you had said intentional fouls were horrible in general, I could at least give you some credit for being consistent. The only problem here is that a professional basketball player cannot shoot a standstill setshot. Plus, there is already a built in penalty for fouling: potential disqualification.

    “especially from a viewers standpoint. No one wants to watch a continually bad freethrow exhibition.”

    Repeat: Any serious basketball player above 10 years of age should be able to hit a stand still uncontested 13.5′ shot a high clip.

    “Problem” instantly solved!

    “I wouldn’t be surprised if the NBA changes the rule.”

    Me either. The NBA is primarily a family entertainment company whose product is basketball, not the other way around.

  • Lloyd

    Only way you’d find an entire NBA team chasing one guy to foul him instead of playing actual defence funny is if you hate that one guy or unconditionally love the offending team. If you look at it objectively, it’s pretty pathetic.

    I meant the continual, over the 4 minutes which are supposed to be the most exciting part of the game, forced free throw contest. Not a fan of it in general, but this is the most extreme use of the quality-diminishing strategy.

    If Dwight was making his free throws last night, they’d likely still continue to foul him. They would be forced to play that way because they couldn’t win by any other means. Eventually he’s going to miss a couple. Agree that Dwight brings the tactic on himself by not being a great free throw shooter, but doesn’t mean the strategy itself is better for the quality of the product on the whole.

  • Dfrance

    Yeah they got old pretty quick to me, but the way this guy matches the words up with Bosh’ lips in the clips just make them hilarious.

  • Cortez Mack

    “Only way you’d find an entire NBA team chasing one guy to foul him instead of playing actual defence funny is if you hate that one guy or unconditionally love the offending team.”

    The “objectivity” is strong with this one!

    If you look a little further down at the comments, it is clear that I do not “hate” Howard. He is fine with me and I wish him the best. Nor do I have any love the Lakers. I have no interest in their success or failure whatsoever. These are simply corporate entities to me which happen to employ high level athletes. I simply like basketball.

    “If you look at it objectively, it’s pretty pathetic.”

    The only thing I find pathetic is the fact that a professional basketball player is so inept at this simple basketball task that his team cannot rely on him to close out the game by making uncontested setshots.

    “Eventually he’s going to miss a couple.”

    That same logic applies to all basketball players, right?

    “If Dwight was making his free throws last night, they’d likely still continue to foul him.”

    Maybe. He is a known liability and he proved it again last night. McHale should have subbed him out. He is a liability.

    “but doesn’t mean the strategy itself is better for the quality of the product on the whole.”

    That must be some more of that “objectivity” you were lecturing me on. Got it.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    i cannot tell you how much i disagree with that last sentence in your first paragraph but it definitely qualifies as, “very much”

  • Lloyd

    Well I wasn’t really looking at the whole thing objectively. I was merely referring to viewing the reduction of the game to a free-throw contest. Nobody wants to see that, even from good free throw shooters. There’s nothing objective about my view of the Lakers, sadly.

    The odds of the logic proving to be true are higher in big men though historically. It could be used by any defensively inferior team against anyone who shoots even remotely bad. I don’t want to see the game get to that point.

    By no means is despising the use of intentional fouls to turn NBA games into free throw contests an excuse for players for not being able to consistently hit free throws. It’s just horrible to watch.

  • pposse

    yo there are loopholes in almost every sport. this is no different than barry bonds getting intentionally walked. The objective thing to do is to put DH’s 49% ft shooting self on the line. – same with walking barry bonds in the bottom of the ninth in a 2 or 3 run game.

  • Lloyd

    Baseball is already a slow sport based on the accumulation of bases which would eventually lead to scores. Walking a guy just takes the power out of his hands to hit a homerun, but doesn’t change the pace of the game or the team’s ability to execute their offense.

    Intentionally fouling players halts a fast-paced game like basketball and turns it into a carnival game of hitting free throws and effectively takes one team out of the game. It’s not the same.

  • pposse

    in baseball some players will get intentionally walked no matter what, ask the Cardinals I guarantee that if they could have done it again, David Ortiz would have been walked every single time from Game 4 onwards. No matter what, if your down by around 10 pts with 4 minutes to go then you should foul DH cause he can’t hit fts. I dont like the idea behind it particularly, but this is the proper objective strategy so long as it is in the rule book. You should be asking why Houston inbounded the ball to DH a couple times under two mins. If the ball was not in his hands, and he got fouled, then any player could have stepped up to the charity stripe for those ft’s.

  • jaycee

    theyll change it after we see it decide an nba finals game (or series)

  • Cortez Mack
  • Lloyd

    It still doesn’t change the pace of baseball. And the article is saying that the only thing that’s being taken away is the prospect of the big hit and the anticipatory excitement that comes with it. The prospect of a big hit is still there with the other 8 other guys in the line up. It doesn’t change the fact that the team can still generate offense. Hacking a player takes the other 4 members of his team out of the game completely, no matter what they do.

  • Kobesbestfriend

    Man I was dying laughing when he was running away from being fouled…what a loser glad hes gone

  • Lloyd

    Intentional walks still don’t change the pace of baseball, and the other 8 guys still have the potential to generate offense. In hacking a player, you take his whole team out of the game.

    I’d rather get it in and have the potential of at least a point than turn it over on an inbound violation.

  • Cortez Mack

    “It still doesn’t change the pace of baseball.”

    Baseball people disagree. Intentional walks completely change the pace and dynamic of the baseball game. People have been complaining about it for decades.

    http://joeposnanski.com/joeblogs/rule-change-no-1-decline-the-walk/

    I am assuming you are not a baseball fan. These claims you are making are not true in many baseball circles.

    Plus, you are taking the most exciting play of the game from typically the most exciting offensive player. In a game where points are a premium.

    It is so exciting that the sport ignored steroid use because steroids were directly inflating the number of homeruns.

  • pposse

    i mean it doesn’t have to effect the whole team..you take him out of the game problem solved. Its a 5 on 5 game but there are plenty of bench players. Sub DH out and put him back in at the 2:00 mark.

  • Lloyd

    It doesn’t change the temporal pace of baseball because it’s an already slow game. Intentionally walking a guy may even be faster than going through a whole pitch count. It “slows” the game down because it takes away that excitement of watching a big hitter hit a homerun. It makes it less exciting for that one at bat, but again, the chance for offense is still present with the other 8 players in the line up. It’s not the same as Hack-a-Howard.

    Casual at best.

    That turn down a walk rule proposal is fascinating though. Would definitely be willing for the NBA to implement that in some fashion, but don’t know what it’d look like.

  • Lloyd

    But then you’re either leaving Asik out there, who isn’t that much better from the line, or going small and having two 7 footers dominate you inside.

    The league implemented the 2 minute mark rule because it was ridiculous to see Wilt Chamberlain running around trying to avoid getting touched by the other team who basically just gave up on defence and was just trying to foul him. It’s happening again, don’t know if they’ll stand for it.

  • Cortez Mack

    “It doesn’t change the temporal pace of baseball”

    You keep repeating this (idea), yet, actual baseball people disagree with your temporal claim.

    Plus, ruining the experience for the fan is your MAIN complaint (I mistakenly said it was a co-complaint before). The fan viewing experienced is (supposedly) diminished. I would argue that it is WORSE in baseball.

  • Cortez Mack

    “or going small and having two 7 footers dominate you inside.”

    Or your smaller guys blowing by the 7 footers leading to layups or wide open jumpshots.

    “The league implemented the 2 minute mark rule because it was ridiculous to see Wilt Chamberlain running around trying to avoid getting touched by the other team”

    Or the ridiculous sight of the “best player in basketball” running away from being fouled because he cannot shoot a standard basketball shot.

  • Lloyd

    If intentionally walking a guy is faster than going through a complete at bat, how is it not temporally faster? It slows the “feel” of the game down, not the actual game.

    It ruins the experience for that one at bat. Like I said, the potential for offense is still there. No one is going to complain about an intentional walk if the next batter steps up and hits a homerun. That potential is always there. I do think it ruins the competitive aspect of the game though.

    In basketball it literally removes the potential for running an offense from one team, in baseball it doesn’t. Why is the latter worse?

  • Lloyd

    It’s almost guarenteed points for Pau and Chris Kaman, while the Rockets would still have to make a lower percentage shot.

    No I’m pretty sure it was because the hacking team was effectively turning a professional NBA game into a game of tag.

  • Cortez Mack

    “If intentionally walking a guy is faster than going through a complete at bat, how is it not temporally faster?”

    It’s not all the time. Your claim is not true.

    “Like I said, the potential for offense is still there.”

    Yeah, just not by the most exciting offensive player on the team.

    “Why is that not worse?”

    I have presented the answer to this multiple times now with your very own MAIN complaint.

    …it ruins the fan experience. I repeat…

    It is so exciting that the sport ignored steroid use because steroids were directly inflating the number of homeruns [thereby driving fan interest and revenues to record heights].

  • pposse

    chris kaman and Pau Gasol are not a lock for anything, scoring especially!

  • Cortez Mack

    I been watching Pau Gasol, and (especially) Kaman get locked up by smaller players their whole careers.

    We watched Nowitzki get locked up by smaller players and he is a offensive beast.

    Your theory is suspect.

  • Cortez Mack

    Nope.

    My assertion is (repeated)

    “The NBA is primarily a family entertainment company whose product is basketball, not the other way around.”

    The product is better when the “star” player is protected from being exposed as not actually having the rudimentary skills that one would expect him to have.

    The streets would start talking.

  • Lloyd

    If the pitch count exceeds four pitches, which is likely with a good hitter, an intentional walk is definitely faster. That’s excluding the potential of the pitcher shaking off pitch calls and other such nuances which also lengthen at bats.

    The potential of a homerun is still there. The excitement is from the act of the homerun and the accompanying scores. Most likely the player is considered exciting as result of his homerun hitting prowess. If the next guy steps up and hits one, it’s just as exciting, if not more since you get an extra run with the intentionally walked player on base.

    Like I said multiple times…the potential for a homerun is still there. Intentionally fouling a player on the other team completely removes any chance of running an offense, or the chance of a dunk, arguably the equivalent of a homerun. Both ruin fan experience, you just need to decide which one does moreso: A) where there’s still a chance for excitement B) where there isn’t.

  • Lloyd

    It has everything to do with making the game entertaining to watch. If a star gets protected from “exposure” (which is BS since it’s widely known that Dwight can’t hit free throws), then that’s just a byproduct of the NBA being a means of entertainment.

  • Lloyd

    Which players are you referring to and are they currently employed by the Houston Rockets? If not, my theory isn’t as suspect as your logic.

    Rockets are middle of the pack defensively in the league, that’s with Dwight. Take him out and they’re significantly worse. Pau can be an elite offensive big man. I’ll bet on Pau every time in those circumstances.

  • Cortez Mack

    “Like I said multiple times…the potential for a homerun is still there.”

    …except by the premier homerun hitter on the team. The one fans are paying to see.

    “Intentionally fouling a player on the other team completely removes any chance of running an offense”

    So what? You are not against intentional fouling as a rule. Only when you do not like it personally.

    “or the chance of a dunk, ”

    …except on a putback dunk from one of Howard’s bricks.

    You are obfuscating now, I get it. They could simply sit Howard down and run their offense

    Your real complaint is that the “star” player has to be removed from the game to hide his ineptitude.

    …just like intentionally walking the STAR player in the baseball game. Except in one instance, they respect his ability and in the other they recognize that his ability is lacking.

  • Cortez Mack

    You made a general statement about 7 footers being dominate. I replied with a specific example that countered your general claim.

    If the Rockets do not have competent defenders, that is simply another flaw they have to go along with their star player lacking the ability to hit wide open setshots.

  • Lloyd

    Rockets are average defensively. Take out Dwight and they’re worse. Pau can be an elite offensive player. I’ll take a 7 foot Pau against a small, weak defense any day.

  • Cortez Mack

    …it ruins the fan experience. I repeat…

    “It is so exciting that the sport ignored steroid use because steroids were directly inflating the number of homeruns [thereby driving fan interest and revenues to record heights].”

    I was entertained by their game plan. So was nearly everyone in the Lakers fanbase.

    The problem is Dwight not the tactic.

  • Lloyd

    It’s not a specific example that pertains to this situation if none of those lock down defenders are on the Rockets to stop Pau and Kaman inside.

    And what’s that got to do with me replying to pposse that they can’t simply take Dwight out to avoid the Hack-a-Howard? He can’t hit free throws, sure. Lakers can’t win without resorting to a free throw contest with one of the worst in the league. Let’s continue pointing out obvious facts instead of talking about the tactic of Hack-a-Howard.

  • Lloyd

    I agreed it ruins the fan experience. So does removing the chance of running the offense for one team. The latter ruins it’s respective game moreso than a single walk.

    No one was entertained by the game plan, they were entertained by the result. The game plan itself is “turn the game into a free throw shooting contest”. Ask anyone if they’d rather watch that than a basketball game.

  • Cortez Mack

    “And what’s that got to do with me replying to pposse that they can’t simply take Dwight out to avoid the Hack-a-Howard?”

    Sure they can. What are you talking about? Put in a another player who can shoot.

    You are the one suggesting that their only other option is another poor free throw shooter.

  • Cortez Mack

    “No one was entertained by the game plan”

    I was not? Wow, thanks for letting me know how I felt.

  • Lloyd

    The only other option that can contest 7-footers inside, yes. Subbing in a player who can shoot free throws is irrelevant because they’re not going to intentionally foul them…all you’re doing is giving up size and your better defenders for a chance to attempt a lower percentage shot with less chance of getting rebounds.

  • Lloyd

    It seems like you were entertained by a star getting “exposed”. If you actually like free throw contests, I apologize. You’re right, this game plan is the cat’s pajamas.

  • Cortez Mack

    “The only other option that can contest 7-footers inside”

    I just gave you examples of other players who have successfully defended 7 footers without being 7 feet themselves.

    The problem here is that the Rockets seem to have a team of undependable players who cannot competently shoot or defend when it is really needed. In fact, they kept Howard in and he lacked the ability to read the play effectively and got his eye dotted.

    …that is a second thing he needs to work on!

  • Cortez Mack

    I was entertained by one team employing a winning strategy. You were not;

    Kudos.

    “I apologize. You’re right, this game plan is the cat’s pajamas.”

    Yep, especially if Howard (or any other player who cannot competently shoot free throws) is on the other team.

  • Lloyd

    The fans are paying to see their team play and win. If a scrub steps up and has a huge game, it’s just as exciting. The only reason you pay to watch a particular player is because he’s expected to put on a show. If he can’t and someone else does, the end result is the same. In the intentionally fouling scenario, there is next to no chance of excitement.

    I’m against prolonged uses of the tactic for time management purposes at the end of the game, not in the stead of playing actual defense. Place and time…place and time…

    No. My complaint is that it removes the offensive capabilities of a team and removes the onus from their opponents of playing defense, whilst making the game ridiculously tedious to watch. If they remove all their bad free throw shooters to prevent it, they lose their best defenders. I want to watch a basketball game won through competition, determined by a free throw contest.

  • Lloyd

    You gave vague examples that don’t pertain to the Rockets, as we’re discussing them here.

    The problem here is that the Lakers used a loophole in the rules to steal a game rather than winning it based on their basketball effort on both ends. I don’t care about Pau Gasol’s ability to play tag.

  • Cortez Mack

    “The fans are paying to see their team play and win.”

    So, you now support the Hack-a-(poor free throw shooter) tactic then? The Lakers gave their fans their money’s worth. Do you not agree? The fan got what they paid for…a win. Not what you wanted them to have (a game played to your particular set of entertainment values)

    ” If they remove all their bad free throw shooters to prevent it, they lose their best defenders”

    This is only a one-to-one correlation in your head. Not in real life.

    “I want to watch a basketball game won through competition”

    You just saw it. Howard was not up to the task because he is lacking in a basic element of being a top level basketball competitor.

  • Cortez Mack

    Nice try.

    Your argument is against the tactic as a general rule in ALL OF BASKETBALL. Which is why a gave you a general response in kind.

    Your argument was never centered around the Rockets (and their pathetic band of poor free throw shooters and poor defenders).

    “I don’t care about Pau Gasol’s ability to play tag.”

    I do not care about Howard’s stunning lack of free throw shooting skill, his inability to successfully flee being fouled or his team’s collective lack of talent which could not make up for his inability to hit a free throw.

  • Lloyd

    1. You brought up the fan paying money to see individual players. I disagreed and said they come for the show and it doesn’t matter which player on their team gives it to them. There is no showmanship going on here for fan benefit 2. If we’re talking about in game fan experience, I would assume you mean for the price of admission. It was the Houston fans that were paying to see the game live.

    If they sub out Howard and Asik, they lose their two best rebounders and their top 3 shot blockers, not to mention the size match up.

    The Lakers didn’t have to compete defensively. They won on a loophole of the rules.

  • Cortez Mack

    “There is no showmanship going on here for fan benefit”

    Wow. So you are under the belief that fan care little for one hitter over another? Ok then. Plus you keep skipping over your MAIN ARGUMENT that the fan experience is what counts. Fans pay to see the big time hitters. These are specific people. You simply do not understand baseball or accept facts.

    “They won on a loophole of the rules.”

    They won on a loophole in Howard’s shot. There is no “loophole”. If Howard hits his shots then they win.

  • Lloyd

    I am against it in all of basketball as a prolonged tactic which replaces defense; a point I’ve been pretty explicit about. However, my responses about giving up size to Pau and Kaman were very much in the context of this game throughout my discussion with pposse and this thread on the whole.

    Let me be clear: 1. I am against the prolonged use of this tactic in stead of playing actual defense 2. The discussion is on a thread about the Lakers-Rockets game so that is the context.

    I’ve been discussing the tactic as it pertains to this game throughout this entire thread and you’ve been responding to them too so I don’t understand the confusion now…

    You gave vague counter points to my response to pposse of the problems with the Rockets simply taking out Dwight and Asik, which were in essence “someone who wasn’t 7 feet tall was able to play defense against Pau and Kaman a couple of times maybe”. This doesn’t change the fact that the Rockets can’t simply keep Dwight and Asik out if those defenders are not on the Rockets’ roster.

  • Lloyd

    They come to see those individuals because they’re the most likely to put on a show. If they don’t and someone else does, then they witnessed a show that they paid for and came to see. If you look at it in the context of this game and Laker fans, Steve Blake hit the game winning shot. It was supposed to be a play that was run for Steve Nash. Did the Laker fans get short changed because it wasn’t Nash hitting that shot? It’s not the individual that makes a game amazing, it’s the moments, even if you’re a fan of a certain player (you’re most likely their fan because they created those moments often).

    My main argument has been against the tactic of Hack-a-Howard. Fan experience is one of the reasons it should not be employed.

    The loophole allows them to foul instead of playing defense. Man I wish I could accomplish my goals at work without actually working.

  • Tad

    D’Antoni’s job isn’t to make the game fun to watch (which he has done) It’s to win games by any means necessary. He lost plenty of games last year, becuase teams were hacking Dwight, and now he gets to win one that way. Houston did beat OKC in Game 2 last year when Brooks stubbornly refused to stop fouling Asik even though he was making his FT’s. Maybe Hou should go to Asik late in games instead of Howard.

  • Lloyd

    The NBA is a business based on viewership and fans. If people don’t want to watch games that are boring, the NBA loses money. They’ll implement rules to make sure that doesn’t happen.

    Asik may be a little better than Howard, but he’s still bad. Brooks was counting on the little hot streak that Asik got on to end. It didn’t. More likely that he’s not going to be able to do that consistently either though.

  • Ugh

    I wish none of what you’d said here were true.

    I also wish shockexchange would shut up and go away. WELP.

  • KingBenjamin

    This is exactly why Dwight Howard isn’t worthy of a max contract. How can a guy be worthy of a max contract when he can’t make free throws to save his life? How are you supposed to win titles with a guy like this on your team? What are you supposed to do, take him out the whole 4th quarter so he doesn’t go to the foul line? No, guy has a max contract, a max contract guy is paid to play full games not 3 quarters. Oh and I forgot to mention he’s a low post player with NO POST MOVES!

    Keep in mind, he’s missing these free throws in the regular season, there is no pressure to win a game during the regular season, what would happen in the playoffs or even the Finals? If his team wanted to win they wouldn’t be able to keep this guy in the game during the 4th quarter.

    People say look at Shaq he was an awful free throw shooter as well, yeah true, but the dude simply dominated in ways Dwight Howard will never be able to. For one, Shaq actually had post moves and could score at will unlike Dwight who only scores off of pick & rolls and put-back dunks. Shaq averaged 28 ppg 11.7 rpg 2.4 bpg (ages 25-30) with a variety of post moves, Dwight has never averaged more than 23 ppg in his entire career and he clearly never will because he doesn’t have any post moves.

    How can a guy be a franchise player when all he does is f**k around during the course of the year and clearly isn’t serious about the game. Don’t say Dwight is serious about basketball because if he was he’d have post moves by now. They brought this up on TNT during the game last night, how would a team like the Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls and the Tim Duncan San Antonio Spurs react to a player f*****g around all the time? The answer is that they wouldn’t want a guy like that on their team because he is clearly not serious.

    Dwight took the easy way out going to Houston because to be honest there is no pressure to win their like there is in L.A.

  • robb

    lol

  • Drig

    Why don’t both of you just agree that

    Lakers suck at defense.

    Rockets bigs suck at FT shooting.

    Lakers covered up their weakness better than the Rockets did.

    Rockets fans are pissed at what happened.

    Lakers fans are happy that they put Howard in their place and their team FINALLY got the better half of the hack-a-tactic.

    I won’t be too harsh on the Rockets just yet.However, LAL won a ton with Shaq when Hack-a-Shaq was in full flow. If the Rockets can’t do the same and fail to win games because of that in the business end of the season, then it’s not because of the rules. It’s because the Rockets failed to address their weaknesses.

  • Drig

    I must say…………..that was SWEEEEEEEET!!!

  • therichardkirby

    James Harden could not defend the Lakers’ mediocre perimeter players or hit two mid range shots in crunch time either. There’s blame to go around

  • bringbackthesonics

    The KG clips are awesome

  • iceman

    really? I mean really? 3 minutes of hack of howard is supposedly un-entertaining? are you kidding me? I definitely disagree with your assessment, watching Dwight head to the line was thoroughly entertaining as watching extreme car wrecks and crashes in nascar, or a major train wreck, everybody loves that stuff whether they admit it or not there still watching,
    .

    You all know whats coming you don’t want to watch yet you cant look away, and there’s a part of you wondering, hey maybe there’s a chance he can step up and make these, and silent all the critics, all the haters, with everyone watching, all eyes on me, the fans cringing as he releases the ball, Howard running away like a little girl playing tag, what is not entertaining about that? perhaps if your a hardcore purist sure but for the rest of us it was magic- pun intended. p

  • iceman

    .really? I mean really? 3
    minutes of hack of howard is supposedly un-entertaining? are you kidding
    me? I definitely disagree with your assessment, watching Dwight head to
    the line was thoroughly entertaining as watching extreme car wrecks and
    crashes in nascar, or a major train wreck, everybody loves that stuff
    whether they admit it or not there still watching,
    .

    You all know whats coming you don’t want to watch yet you cant look
    away, and there’s a part of you wondering, hey maybe there’s a chance he
    can step up and make these, and silent all the critics, all the haters,
    with everyone watching, all eyes on me, the fans cringing as he
    releases the ball, Howard running away like a little girl playing tag,
    what is not entertaining about that? perhaps if your a hardcore purist
    sure but for the rest of us it was magic- pun intended. p

  • The Seed

    Like I said Rockets, are going no where. Howard showed he is still the same, no improvement in his game this year. Lakers won with heart, Howard lost the game with shooting. All the coach had to do is take him out the game and Rockets win. How many superstars do you say that about in the NBA. Only one, Howard. BOOK IT!!

  • Lloyd

    “rest of us”= Lakers fans/Howard haters.

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