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Report: Dwight Howard hit 8 of 10 free throws with his eyes closed

Oct 3, 2013, 10:56 AM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers v Denver Nuggets Getty Images

I can hear the Lakers fans now — “Why didn’t he just shoot them that way last season? Couldn’t have been any worse.”

Free throw shooting has been Dwight Howard’s kryptonite on the court, he shot just 49 percent the last two seasons (he is a career 57.7 percent from the stripe). It leads to the hack-a-Howard strategy and keeps Howard on the bench at key moments at the end of games.

He always talks about fixing it, then came this report out of the Houston Chronicle — Howard beat James Harden (career 84.4 percent from the line) in a free throw contest where both were shooting with their eyes closed. Howard hit 8 of 10, according to the report.

“I might have to start [shooting with] my eyes closed in games,” Howard said. “I have a good percentage. I am 8 for 10 with my eyes closed….

“There is a guy who has the world record for most free throws made and he told me to do that drill and it’s good for trusting your form.”

Howard actually shoots free throws better in practice, but when the pressure is on in a game he over-thinks it and misses. It goes back to one of the big questions about the Rockets this season and the next few — how does Howard deal with adversity when it comes? The past couple years not well at all, but has he grown and matured from all this?

Free throw percentage could be a barometer of that answer. Or, he could just shoot with his eyes closed.

  1. legend30 - Oct 3, 2013 at 11:11 AM

    Yeah, as everyone is watching him during an actual game — he will miss. Dwight Coward. This guy doesn’t and will never have the passion to be one of the greatest centers ever to step on a court. He’s 27 years old and still a project.

  2. spursareold - Oct 3, 2013 at 11:16 AM

    Why would this offseason be any different than any other in DHo’s career? Either you have balls or you don’t. They won’t magically appear one offseason.

    • tomshoe - Oct 3, 2013 at 8:42 PM

      There’s a difference between doing it in practice and doing it with tens of thousands of people watching.

  3. kb2408 - Oct 3, 2013 at 11:42 AM

    He did the same crap last season….then when it actually counted, he would go 4-10. To make matters worse, he’d just smile. He played in LA with two of the best free throw shooters ever (Nash and Kobe), one would think he’d learn something from them!

  4. skinsfanwill - Oct 3, 2013 at 11:47 AM

    Confidence. There were times where he actually shot pretty well from the strip. But you could see he was confident when he went to the line. I can’t remember a player’s FT% going down year after year like his did. It makes no sense to me.

    • limonadamas - Oct 3, 2013 at 12:02 PM

      Nick Anderson

    • ranfan12 - Oct 4, 2013 at 9:42 AM

      Yeah, he gave it to them when he played at Orlando last season

  5. cowboysfaninbuffalove - Oct 3, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    Dwight practices getting his extremely small head to look normal on his troll like shoulders more than free throws

  6. misterdreamer119 - Oct 3, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    how about he hit his throws with his mouth closed.

  7. ocgunslinger - Oct 3, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    Even a blind hog will find an acorn once in a while.

  8. socalgal64 - Oct 3, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    Dwight averaged 85% FT shooting in PRACTICE for the Lakers. And then he squatted and crapped in the middle of the floor during games. If he can’t hit them during the game, practice don’t mean diddly.

    • money2long - Oct 3, 2013 at 1:29 PM

      he’s a victim of pressure

      • jimeejohnson - Oct 4, 2013 at 8:49 PM

        Circumstance.

  9. losanginsight - Oct 3, 2013 at 12:58 PM

    “we talking bout practice ?!”

  10. chargerdillon - Oct 3, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    He certainly does shoot like his eyes are closed, this just confirms it.

  11. losanginsight - Oct 3, 2013 at 11:18 PM

    Practice? You talking about practice

  12. losanginsight - Oct 4, 2013 at 1:08 AM

    practice!?

  13. omniusprime - Oct 4, 2013 at 8:48 AM

    As always Kutrt Helin does the most ignorant stories about the most ignorant of subjects. So what that Dunce12 hit 8 out of 10 free throws in practice with his eyes closed, when he’s in a real game he’ll miss 8 out of 10 with his eyes wide open. A shame that the government shutdown doesn’t shut down the moronic stories by Kurt Helin and all the other dimwitted sports pundits.

    Dunce12 is a Loser!!!!

    • Kurt Helin - Oct 6, 2013 at 10:40 AM

      Says the guy who clicked on the story and read it. Which is why I wrote it. So thank you.

      The opposite of love is apathy, you know.

  14. jimeejohnson - Oct 4, 2013 at 8:49 PM

    It’s one of the only things he has in common with Shaq.

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