The Lakers got a solid win over a pretty good Nets team on Tuesday, but struggled mightily from the free throw line in the process. L.A. as a team was 19-of-37 from the stripe, while Dwight Howard had more than half of the attempts, but managed to knock down just 7-of-19.
None were worse than this one, an airball that was short and wide left that occurred in the fourth quarter of a three-point ballgame.
Howard laughed at the result, and then, perhaps realizing the situation, put on a super-serious face prior to taking his next attempt.
That’s Howard’s personality, for better or for worse. But fans aren’t going to think it’s funny if his free throw shooting ends up costing the Lakers some games this season, and it’s tough to imagine Kobe Bryant being on board with one of his teammates laughing off misses in tight games, no matter the ultimate result.
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It could happen, they are certainly contenders. But two things need to happen.
The big one is their defense, which was middle of the pack last season, needs to move into the top 10 (and DeAndre Jordan needs to play consistently like a guy who is third in Defensive Player of the Year voting).
Second is the new and improved bench unit of Lance Stephenson, Josh Smith, and Jamal Crawford (he’s not new) need to mesh into a unit. Those are three guys who like to create for themselves and make questionable shot choices, getting them play well with others could be a bumpy road.
Stephen Curry gives high five while his shot is in air (video)