Dwight Howard Changed His Free-Throw Shooting Technique

According to the Los Angeles Lakers, Dwight Howard is hitting the vast majority of his free throws in practice. This is thanks, in part, to a new shooting technique while at the charity stripe (which was developed by assistant coach Chuck Person.) Per the LA Times: “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. Every…single…one. ‘He’s just a little bit above 80%,’ said Lakers assistant coach Chuck Person. Eighty percent? Howard? He made three of four free-throw attempts in the Lakers’ exhibition finale Thursday against Sacramento, but only three of eight in his only other exhibition appearance. […] 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. ‘He would start low and come up and stop the ball in front of his eyes. He only had one eye on the ball so he would move his head to the left, which would make his right elbow come out,’ Person said. ‘He was basically shooting sideways. He would put his thumb on the ball so his rotation was improper every time.’ Sounds like a problem. ‘We lifted the ball straight up, his elbow just below his eye level, so now he clearly has both eyes on the rim,’ Person said. ‘It relaxes his upper body.'”