Howard tries to clear his mind at the line

Howard tries to clear his mind at the line
November 13, 2013, 2:45 pm
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(Andrew Richardson - USA Today Sports Images)

Dwight Howard is trying to channel Ebby Calvin ‘Nuke’ LaLoosh at the free throw line.

Don’t think.

All he needs is Crash Davis in his ear. Or that might be part of the problem. Everyone has an opinion and everyone wants to help.

“In games before he goes to the line, I just tell him to stay there until the ball goes in,” Rockets guard James Harden said Tuesday of his efforts to help Howard. “Sometimes it can happen when he’s shooting, not following through and backing up. Stay there until the ball goes in, hold your follow-through and it’s the same routine every time. He’s getting better at it, though.”

A career 58 percent shooter of free throws, Howard is making just 47 percent of his shots from the line this year. That’s caused the all the helpful suggestions, which creates the noise that Howard is trying to avoid.

“I don’t want to talk about it. So much has been talked about free throws. I mean, let it go,” Howard said during practice on Tuesday. “Talk about it so much I think about it at the line. And I don’t want to think about it, I just want to shoot.”

“I shoot them at practice and I don’t miss because I’m not thinking,” Howard said. “I get in the game and think about it so much that I tend to miss. The best thing to do is to let it go, if I make it I make it. If I don’t it’s not the end of the world.”