Mark Jackson: Warriors Had No Choice But to Hack-a-Dwight Howard

by January 13, 2012

Golden State Warriors Head coach Mark Jackson’s Hack-a-Dwight strategy backfired last night, but he says that he had no other choice. From the San Fran Chronicle: “Howard made 21 of 39 free throws, breaking Wilt Chamberlain’s single-game record of 34 free-throw attempts in 1962. Here’s coach Mark Jackson’s explanation for the strategy: Why did you employ the Hack-a-Howard plan?: ‘I can understand people thinking, ‘Why?’ But don’t get caught up in the free throws. Think about the times we didn’t foul him. It was dunks, hooks, plays at the rim. He’s a great player and a bad free-throw shooter. We were giving ourselves the best possible chance by messing up their rhythm.’ Would you have done this with Kwame Brown, who is expected to miss throw months with a torn chest muscle?: ‘No, and I wouldn’t have done it if Dre (Andris Biedrins fouled out in 20:44) was on the court. He did an outstanding job of playing Dwight 1-on-1. We have two bodies who can defend him 1-on-1 and force him away from the painted area. After Dre and Kwame, we go to small guys.’ What were you saying to Howard during timeouts?: ‘I told him, ‘Boy, our jerseys look phenomenal. We’ve got some incredible-looking jerseys.’ He laughed.’ Note: The Warriors reportedly made an aggressive play to trade for Howard last week, a move that never materialized. Is it vaguely embarrassing to use the Hack-a-Howard method?: ‘Not as much as shooting 21-for-39. I’d be more embarrassed by that.’ Will you do this again?: ‘I’m a flow guy, and we put ourselves in position to win the ballgame. We were in position to win a ballgame against a very good team.'”