Lakers News: Mike D’Antoni Wants Howard to Work on Jumper

Los Angeles Lakers head coach D'Antoni smiles with Gasol, Bryant and Howard during their NBA basketball game against Brooklyn Nets, as he makes his game coaching debut for Lakers in Los AngelesThe Los Angeles Lakers have the most dominate center in the NBA and if the gets the ball deep in the post, there is no stopping him. 

However, coach Mike D’Antoni wants his big men to work on other aspects of his game, including developing a jump shot. Even though Howard does not shoot a high percentage away from the basket, he has been testing his range throughout the season.

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Dave McMenamin of ESPNLA writes that D’Antoni would like Howard to become more of a threat a few feet outside the paint.

“We want to just expand his game all over,” D’Antoni said before the Lakers played the Warriors on Monday. “If he’s going to dominate the league – which he’s young enough and he can – you can’t play within a four-foot box. You got to play. And he’s doing that. He’s getting more confidence. I think that will help him on his foul shooting and it will help his overall game. He shoots the ball well and we want to keep developing that and keep getting better.”

Howard has struggled this season on both ends of the court, but he is finally beginning to look like the center he was in Orlando. The back surgery surely impacted his production on the court and he was not the same player that he used to be. Now in the final stretch of the season, the Lakers have a healthy Howard and someone that they can rely on in the paint.

There is no doubt Howard is an unstoppable force in the paint when in full form, but if he develops a jump shot, teams will have no answer for the center. The NBA game is developing rapidly and most big men in the league can step back and hit a jumper. If Howard does want to become an legendary center, he should continue to work on his all around game as D’Antoni stated.

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