Houston, we have a problem shooter
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Dwight Howard picked the right pursuer. The competition — particularly the aged and infirm Lakers — didn't come close to measuring up to Houston. And Howard's best bet, the San Antonio Spurs — foolishly chose not to pursue him, despite having the cap space prior to re-upping Tiago Splitter and Manu Ginobili. But that's water under the Riverwalk.
The Rockets are getting the league's most talented center, presuming a healthy back and right shoulder, yet one who still has tremendous room to improve, particularly at the offensive end. He's pretty darn good inside of eight feet with his ambidextrous assortment of jumphooks, running hooks, spinning push-shots and baseball-toss bankers....
The big problem is when Howard is outside of his eight-foot comfort zone — either on the wing or about to attempt a free throw. It's actually two problems: (1) Howard is a lousy shooter (2) who insists that his poor shooting is all in his head. He has said that he thinks too much, concentrating on too many technical things.... He also talks about transferring his practice delivery, where for years he's made 80 percent in countless sessions of 100 or more attempts, to the bright lights of game night. He is still unaware, thanks to clueless coaches like Stan Van Gundy, that "even a lousy shooter will heat up taking four shots a minute for an hour while an assistant tosses the ball back," as I explained back in 2000 in a column about Shaquille O'Neal's free-throw woes for the online edition of The Sporting News.
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