Atlanta Hawks center Dwight Howard is known for his rebounding ability and play above the rim. Now he wants to see if he can make it rain from three.
Dwight Howard’s first season with the Atlanta Hawks actually went over pretty well for him personally. He averaged a double-double with 13.5 points and 12.7 rebounds per game for his hometown team. While Atlanta lost in the first round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs to the rival Washington Wizards, Howard did shoot 63.3 percent from the field and was nearly an All-Star.
Basically, Howard did what Atlanta head coach Mike Budenholzer told him to do: rebound, protect the rim and be the finisher on alley-oops. Though he shot a miserable 53.3 percent from the free throw line in 2016-17, Howard has his eyes set on a new frontier as a shooter: beyond the 3-point line.
When Howard went on ESPN’s The Jump on Tuesday, he talked with Rachel Nichols, Paul Pierce and Scottie Pippen about how he’s working on adding a 3-point shot to his offensive arsenal. Are we sure this is the best usage of Howard’s time this offseason?
We do live in a small ball world where centers like Al Horford, Marc Gasol and Brook Lopez have all begun to shoot threes for their respective teams. While it would be cool if Howard could theoretically get there, those three centers all had impressive mid-range games before taking it beyond the arc.
Howard has never been a refined offensive player in his 13-year NBA career. If he had a decent mid-range shot, why not experiment with the 3-point line? Though Atlanta is keen on player development under Budenholzer, the idea of Howard making it rain from distance probably isn’t what he had in mind.
Really the only upside to hearing that Howard is digging the long ball is that maybe it’s keeping him engaged in his offseason workouts. He’s clearly figured out the basics of playing center for Budenholzer, but wouldn’t he want to improve his free throw shooting or mid-range game first? For Atlanta, it can’t be as bad as Josh Smith throwing up the random atrocious brick? Then again, yes, this could be much worse …