The better question is, who isn’t expecting Howard to live at the free throw line this post season?
Per ESPN LA, Howard has one piece of advice to anyone fouling him, “God Bless Them”. The LA Lakers are finally in the finals, something NBA fans and even analysts thought wasn’t going to happen but to our surprise, the Lakers finished 7th in the west. With Kobe Bryant out for the remaining of the season, the Lakers will have to face the first round against the San Antonio Spurs starting Sunday. Howard not only wants the world to know he’s ready to step up as the Lakers leader, but he’s also welcoming… “Hack-a-Howard”?
“If they want to do that the whole series, God bless them,” Howard said when asked about the Spurs using a “Hack-a-Howard” strategy on Friday. “There’s nothing I can do about it but go up there and shoot the free throws. Even if I make them, they’re still going to do it. So, that’s not my concern. My concern is what I can control on the defensive end and then on the offensive end, just dominate. If they foul me, they foul me. We’re going to make them pay.”
Didn’t I tell you guys, that Howard has suddenly been slapped into reality? “We’re going to make them pay” never thought I would hear those words come from Howard’s mouth in a Laker uniform.
D’Antoni who is a little more familiar than he like to be with Popovich tactics also seems to be better prepared this go round.
“I’m sure they’ll try it,” D’Antoni said. “We worked on Dwight being evasive out there today so they couldn’t catch him.
“But we’ll just deal with it. He’s going to make shots and he’ll make his foul shots.”
Howard is shooting only 49.2% from the line this season, but Laker fans don’t lose hope just yet, Howard has been pretty dominating lately, he’s stepped up in intensity and defensively. Im sure he’ll make up for the lost free throws by being the best big man in the league like everyone knows him to be.