Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 10/31/12
LOS ANGELES The Los Angeles Lakers have a lot of work to do, and less than 24 hours in which to do it. Otherwise, their most promising season in a few years will be off to an 0-2 start. They were beaten by the Dallas Mavericks 99-91 in their season and home opener, and will take on the Blazers in Portland Wednesday nighta place in which the Lakers have had much trouble winning over the years Kobe Bryant spoke to the crowd before the game, ending his short speech with "Enjoy the show." They didn't... Missed free throws killed the basketball stars. The Lakers went 12-31 from the line, a putrid 38.7 percent. Center Dwight Howard was the main culprit, clanging 11 of 14 "I'm thinking too much when I'm up there," Howard revealed. "Gotta make it, gotta make it. I gotta stop thinking like that." I think he's on to something there. In practice his form is smooth and he connects on a large majority of his free throws. Not thinking about it, just doing it Hall of Fame big men who were terrible career free-throw shooters: Wilt Chamberlain (.511), Bill Russell (.561) and O'Neal (.527) all were excellent practice shooters. Couldn't do it in a game, though Russell was somewhat of an exception during his run of 11 championships in 13 seasons. It's said that in the fourth quarter of gamesregular season or playoffshis FT percentage was in the .800 range Back to Howard. Overall he had a good debut in gold and purple, scoring 19 points and grabbing 10 rebounds He was 8-12 from the field, but fouled out with 2:02 remaining in the game Dallas forward Elton Brand said the Mavs weren't playing "Hack-a-Dwight" but they were aware of his problems shooting free throws "Better to foul him before he gets the dunk or layup," Brand said. "That definitely puts the odds in our favor with him shooting free throws." Poor free throw shooting put the Lakers in precarious positions throughout Shaquille O'Neal's eight-year tenure as the starting center. It looks like the future could be similar with Howard and his .588 FT percentage But if they win three NBA titles with Howard at center, it will all be forgotten, right Shaq? "We will make shots from the free throw line, I'm confident of that" coach Mike Brown said. Yeah, but the question ishow many? What should really upset the Lakers is that Dallas toyed with them in the second half when they didn't have Dirk Nowitzki and Chris Kaman available. "We did great considering our two 7-footers were out," Brand said with a big smile It's just one game, but the Lakers looked out of sync for most of the 48 minutes. "They didn't look like comfortable running their offense the way they wanted to," said Hall of Famer Reggie Miller, part of the TNT broadcasting crew along with Kevin Harlan The Lakers have played 101 regular season games in Portland, winning just 41. Last year they lost their only meeting at the Rose Garden, 107-96 Clippers owner Donald Sterling was at the Lakers-Mavs game Tuesday. His team has its opener Wednesday evening against the Memphis Grizzlies at Staples Center. "We'll have to see about making this place jump (Wednesday) night." Before the game, Brown said he hopes the offense is rolling smoothly after the first of the year, or at the latest after the All Star break. Note to coach: If it takes that long, you might be watching the second half of the season from your lovely home And it might be a good idea to get the defense up to speed soon, too Let's all remember that it is just one game. If they lose to Portland, then you can begin to panic
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Kings engaging in trade talks for Cousins

Report: Romo willing to rework contract to facilitate trade

Lonzo Ball's father says son is better than Curry right now

Report: Rams could have interest in Cousins if Goff flops

Report: Butler to Celtics talk will loom over All-Star week

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Carmelo expects to remain with Knicks

James Harden: ‘For sure’ I’m the best player in the world

Report: Pats expected to make good effort to keep Bennett

Glenn Robinson III dunks over three people to win Slam Dunk Contest

Kevin Durant booed at All-Star introductions in New Orleans

Charles Oakley joins Ice Cube’s 3-on-3 league

Is the NBA All-Star Game worth saving?

There will never be another Dirk Nowitzki

The Rewind: Michael Jordan's last All-Star Game

Best of Yardbarker: NBA All-Star Games past, present and future

Eat, Drink, Watch: Everything goes better with a side of New Orleans

Box Score 2/17: Happy birthday, Michael Jordan (and welcome to 1000 point club, Sid!)

The 'Michael Jordan might still win the Dunk contest if he entered' quiz

How to reboot NBA All-Star Weekend

Second-year NBA stars who can salvage the season

Observations from a day at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

Box Score 2/16: Getting ready for the ASG

Too much to Process: Can Simmons match the Embiid hype?

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

Best of YB: NBA All-Star Games past, present and future

Who will break these NBA All-Star Game records?

Is the NBA All-Star Game worth saving?

There will never be another Dirk Nowitzki

The Rewind: Michael Jordan's last All-Star Game

Eat, Drink, Watch: Everything goes better with a side of New Orleans

How to reboot NBA All-Star Weekend

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Second-year NBA stars who can salvage the season

Observations from a day at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker