There are quite a few NBA players who suck at shooting from the line. Dwight Howard might be the one most known for them among current players, and it’s not going to get better for him. It only seems to get worse.
Howard isn’t the only notable player in the NBA who struggles from the line. DeAndre Jordan and Rajon Rondo stand out as well, but Howard has a special place in everyone’s “hearts” when it comes to remembering those who do so poorly when standing on the line, with no one but the fans bothering them, but a combination of some mental issue, pressure and poor technique gets in the way.
Howard (maybe not now) is also the best of these players. From 2007 to 2011 he was the best defensive player in the NBA, winning the award three times. He has led the league in rebounds five times and in blocks twice. At his best, he was probably one of the top three or four players in the league, although that didn’t last for very long.
Howard actually shot 67.1% from the line during his rookie year, the only time in his career he finished a season with over 60% in free throws. That was followed by a few years of shooting just over 59%. In 2011-2012, when the injuries began, and then his departure from Orlando, came the big decline. He shot under 50% two seasons in a row, and with the Rockets, he hasn’t been able to crack the 55% mark, hitting only 52.8% of his shots last season. In the playoffs, when hacking increases, he shot just 41.2% from the line last season.
It’s not going to get better this season, barring a miracle. With the NBA not changing the rules regarding hack-a-someone, teams aren’t going to change the way they handle Howard either.