The Los Angeles Lakers will face Dwight Howard tonight for the first time since he left the team to join the Houston Rockets. Even though the game will be held in the Toyota Center, you can be sure that the Lakers fans in attendance will let Howard know of their resentment towards him.
Last season with Howard was a struggle for the Lakers and there was never really a time when the big man and his teammates were on the same page. From the coaching change to the pressures of playing in Los Angeles, Howard had trouble adjusting to the new environment and he felt as though Houston would better fit his needs.
Howard’s play also frustrated many fans and in particular, his poor free throw shooting. Many opponents opted to put Howard on the stripe late in games knowing that the chances of him hitting both were very low. Mike D’Antoni spoke to the media and Dave McMenamin tweeted that the coach may use “Hack-a-Howard” if it is needed.
D’Antoni, smiling, when asked if the Lakers could try Hack-a-Howard against Houston: “That’s always on the table”
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) November 7, 2013
The Lakers had to live through the “Hack-a-Howard” many times last season and for the most part, the center failed to even convert on one of the two attempts. However, based on the recent play of the team and especially on the road, the game may not even be close enough to consider the strategy.
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