Hack-A-Howard Fails

Dwight Howard shoots an NBA record 39 free throws in Orlando’s win.

Nash Herringtonby Nash Herrington

It might not be as heralded a record as Wilt Chamberlin’s 100-point game or Oscar Robertson’s 14 triple-doubles, but Dwight Howard set the new NBA record for most free throws attempted in a game this week with 39. Note, this is definitely not the record for most free throws made. In fact, usually the holder of this infamous record is a notably poor free-throw shooter.

Enter Dwight Howard. Howard shoots 42.6% from the free-throw line. This is pathetic. This is worse than pathetic. My mother could at least shoot 50%. Even Shaq who the Hack-a-Shaq defense was named after, shot 52.7%. It is impossible for me to over state just how bad Howard’s 42.6% is for a professional basketball player.  42.6% would be a pathetic percentage for a middle-school player that was partially blind, playing barefoot, and using a ball made of solid oak. It is beyond comprehension.

It should come as no surprise than that first your head coach Mark Jackson attempted to get an edge for his undersized Golden State Warriors by intentionally fouling Howard throughout the game. Jackson had used this strategy earlier in the season with mixed results. This time Howard ended up going 21 for 39 from the line. Dwight really showed him shooting 53.8%.  Take that Jackson. Oops, 53.8% still sucks. 

Howard did go on to have 48 points, 20 rebounds, and dominated the paint against the undersized Warriors. The outcome of this game aside, Jackson’s strategy did exactly what it was meant to do. He disrupted Orlando’s offense and gave the Warriors a chance to win. Realistically, Orlando should clobber Golden State, but they ended up barely winning 117-109. Although Golden State lost to Orlando this time, the Hack-a-Howard defense is a viable option for undersized teams or really anyone come crunch time.