Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard has shown off growth in an unexpected area this season: 3-point shooting.
Howard has hardly come to be known as a stretch five throughout his 18-year NBA career. Up until the title-winning 2019-20 season with the Lakers, the big man had failed to make more than two 3-pointers during a regular season.
In the previous campaign, the three-time Defensive Player of the Year attempted a career-high 20 field goals from beyond the arc, more than during his first six NBA seasons combined. He made five of them, which translated into a 25% efficiency from behind the 3-point line.
However, Howard has been shooting 71.4% from downtown in 2021-22, going 5-of-7 in 17 games of the current campaign. Although most of them came in garbage time, the 35-year-old attempted a pair of threes as the Lakers rallied their way back into the game in the eventful Sunday victory over the Detroit Pistons.
And, Howard sunk both of them.
Still, head coach Frank Vogel has said he doesn’t anticipate the center’s 3-point shooting to become a part of his game.
“Not likely,” Vogel said. “He does work on it, he does shoot it well. But we’re best with him dominating in the paint, so that’s what we’re encouraging with him. But to his credit, he has worked on it and does take pride in it, but his role for now for us is going to dominate in the paint.”
Howard is yet to start a game for the Lakers this year, averaging 13.6 minutes on the floor — the fewest in his illustrious career. As Vogel said though, his job is to bring toughness down low when he does play and he has done that well this season in addition to his newfound 3-point stroke.
Howard says he ‘most definitely’ should have made NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team
The NBA announced the list of the best 75 players in the league’s history earlier this year to commemorate its 75th season. However, the Association failed to include Howard on the anniversary team.
The center said he knew the NBA wouldn’t feature him on the prestigious list because of its “politics.” However, Howard said he believes that he “most definitely” should have been selected.
Howard is a 2019-20 NBA champion and an eight-time All-Star, who has been named the league’s Defensive Player of the Year three times between 2009-2011.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!