Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 11/10/14
Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni says he does not plan to bench Dwight Howard at the end of games despite the center’s struggles at the free throw line. The Houston Rockets became the latest team to foul Howard purposely at the end of a game and see the strategy work in their favor. They began fouling Howard when they were down 97-93 with 3:17 left on Tuesday. Howard went 5-for-10 from the line after being fouled five straight times, and the Rockets went on to win the game 107-105. Coach D’Antoni said that Howard’s missed free throws weren’t the issue, and that he wouldn’t bench him anyway to solve the problem. “You don’t do that to a guy, and he made his foul shots. He’s not the reason that our defense breaks down, he’s not the reason that stuff happens,” D’Antoni said, via Lakers.com. “He’s gotta work through this. You take him out now, and what are you going to do, take him out all the time? You have a player that’s going to be your franchise player and you don’t do that to him. “It’s not him that’s causing the problem. It’s not a good thing, a knee-jerk kind of reaction … he’s fine. That’s not a problem. He made the last 4 out 6, and you have to go up and knock them down, and he will. We shouldn’t even be talking about that, because it shouldn’t come down to that. We shouldn’t have had 19 turnovers, and we shouldn’t lose our guys on a switch or on the perimeter. That’s not him; he’s doing a hell of a job, and he will continue to do that, and we’ll work through this.” D’Antoni is right in his mindset. You cannot plan to bench one of your franchise players at the end of all your close games, especially when he has such a big impact defensively. However, he needs to come up with a better solution. D’Antoni might have to consider taking Dwight off the floor when the Lakers get the ball, and then reinserting him into the game when they’re on defense. The numbers speak the truth about the matter. According to stats from ESPN, Dwight Howard’s free throw shooting has been awful in “clutch time,” which is defined as times when the score is within five in last five minutes of fourth quarter or overtime. Howard is 7-16 (43.8%) during “clutch time,” while the rest of the Lakers are 13-19 (68.4%). Howard is shooting .468% on free throws this season, which is down from his career average of .584. Even Shaq was never this bad at the line when teams began employing the “Hack-a-Shaq” strategy against his teams (he was a .557 shooter in his worst year). Howard really needs to get his act together.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jon Jones thinks he can beat Cain Velasquez

Larry Bird jokes about pose of Dominique Wilkins’ statue

Barry Switzer urged Cowboys to draft Murray with great quote

SF Giants file brief in support of gay marriage to Supreme Court

Jay Cutler available to teams in trade

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Brian Hoyer praises Johnny Manziel for checking into rehab

Dockett: I would have signed with Cardinals for less money

Report: Darrelle Revis' decision to come down to Patriots, Jets

Maurice Jones-Drew announces his retirement from NFL

Ndamukong Suh is biggest prize, risk in free agency

Associated Press will have 'robots' writing game stories

Five areas the Eagles must address this offseason

WATCH: Craig Sager emotional in warm welcome back to TNT

Likeliest landing spots for Ndamukong Suh

Tigers pitcher Alfredo Simon drives a chrome Mercedes

WATCH: Ronda Rousey breaks guy's ribs who doubts her ability

Michelle Beadle’s campaign to be cast in ‘Sharknado 3′ pays off

Ten teams who have tightened the belt

Dodgers will have a tough time dumping Andre Ethier

Brian Cashman: Derek Jeter should be final Yankees captain

Tom Brady, Rory McIlroy to play round at Augusta National

No one knows who will win the 2014-15 NBA MVP

Giants TE on plane that slid off runway in New York

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Larry Bird trash talks Dominique Wilkins’ statue

Likeliest landing spots for Suh

Jay Cutler available to teams in trade

Ronda Rousey breaks guy's ribs

Ten teams who have tightened the belt

Mayweather waited for Pacquiao to get old, right?

Maurice Jones-Drew announces his retirement from NFL

Ndamukong Suh is biggest prize, risk in free agency

AP will have 'robots' writing game stories

Manning officially returning to Broncos

No one knows who will win the MVP

Pop rips notion of NBA Finals in July

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.