Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard says he’s done listening to free throw advice


Dwight Howard and his poor free throw shooting have been the subject of much consternation for the Lakers. Howard is shooting under 47 percent from the line, and has attempted 211 foul shots — more than any other player in the league by a wide margin.

Howard showcases his gregarious personality on the regular with the media, but he clams up when asked about free throws. He doesn’t like to talk about the one area where his skill set is the weakest, yet the questions are going to keep coming as long as he continues to miss and teams continue their plans to strategize against him.

As the Lakers finished shootaround in Oklahoma City on Friday, it was noticed that Steve Nash had some words for Howard regarding his free throws — maybe about his form, maybe about his rhythm, maybe about something else. When asked about Nash’s advice, Howard made it clear that he’s done listening to everyone where his free throw shooting is concerned.

From Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com:

“Listen, he was just suggesting some things, but it’s not something that we’ve already talked about or anybody else has suggested,” Howard said. “My mind cannot get clouded with everybody telling me how to shoot a free throw. I just have to go up there and shoot it my way and not get caught up in what everybody else is saying, because that’s when I miss.”

Howard has a point, but only to a certain extent.

A lot of the free throw thing is mental, especially in game situations when fatigue comes into play, and when there are so many other things going on at that moment that can divert a player’s concentration. In practice, for example, Howard’s percentages are far above those he achieves during his games.

At the same time, Howard can’t afford to shut anyone down who’s trying to help — especially not Nash, who is right there with Mark Price at the top of the all-time leader board for career free throw percentage in NBA history.

Matt Barnes says he went to house because his son looked distressed

Derek Fisher, Matt Barnes, Russell Westbrook
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So far, the only substantive accounts of the Matt Barnes-Derek Fisher altercation have come from anonymous sources.

The Knicks coach has deflected questions.

But Barnes is giving his account, at least of the lead-up.

Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:

It’s completely understandable that Barnes would act to ensure his children’s welfare.

And let’s say everything he said is true. It still leaves important questions unanswered.

Did Barnes – as he reportedly texted a friend he did – beat up Fisher and spit on his estranged wife, Gloria Govan? If so, why did Barnes deem that necessary to protect kids?

Gregg Popovich resting himself for Spurs game at Sacramento

Gregg Popovich
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Gregg Popovich said he wouldn’t coach in July.

Apparently, he’s taking off part of October, too.

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:

It’s not that surprising to see Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Boris Diaw staying home. Veterans miss preseason games all the time just to rest. With the Spurs, it happens even in the regular season.

But it’s still a little strange to see the head coach sit out, even though Popovich also did it last year.

It makes sense, though. Who cares about this preseason game? If travelling less helps the 66-year-old Popovich stay fresh in the years ahead, that’s well worth it. Plus, it gets Messina a little extra experience. Some day, he might be the head coach.