Dwight Howard is a bad free throw shooter. We all know this. Howard is a career 59.6% free throw shooter, and this season Howard is only making 53.8% of his free throws. If you’ve watched any Magic games this season, you know that Dwight now takes a really, really long time to shoot his free throws for no apparent reason. Just how long does Howard take to shoot a free throw? Well over 10 seconds, which makes his free throws illegal. Dennis Hans of Centers’ little helper, who has written at length about Howard’s free throws before, has the explanation (Hat-tip to TrueHoop):
Dwight Howard’s current free-throw routine takes 12-to-15 seconds to execute, which means he is in violaton of the time-limit rule, which says“Each free throw attempt shall be made within 10 seconds after the ball has been placed at the disposal of the free-thrower.”
Assuming he’s been taking this long all season (I didn’t put him under the clock until last week), Dwight, through games of Nov. 28, is averaging 7.0 illegal points per game. Thus his scoring average, in a league where rules mattered, would be 15.6 rather than the career-high 22.6 he is currently averaging.
Interesting stuff, and I don’t think anyone would have a problem with cutting about a minute of watching Dwight Howard stare at the rim, hoping to learn its secrets, from each Magic game. Besides, I can’t imagine that Dwight’s long free-throw preludes are helping him all that much, considering he’s having his worst free-throw shooting season ever.