Dwight Howard has received plenty of criticism over the course of his career, whether it’s for his attitude, leadership or actual play on the court (among other things). With regards to that last topic, many have slammed Howard for never developing his offensive game, and that’s something he’s been working on over the offseason and into training camp.
And by developing his offensive game, this means working on his jump shot, per Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal Constitution:
“It’s all about being able to grow and just having confidence,” Howard recently told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Coach (Mike Budenholzer) has total confidence in me shooting the basketball. So, that’s not an issue. I think in the past I’ve started to shoot and then I’ve stopped. I can’t allow missing or anything like that to affect how I play on the floor.”
This will draw many a chortle, and for good reason. Howard has long been a horrendous free throw shooter (56.8 percent for his career and 48.9 percent last season), and 94 percent of his career field goal attempts in the regular season have been from within 10 feet. And when he has ventured out away from the basket and shot jumpers, the results haven’t been pretty.
However, as Howard continues to age and can’t physically overpower opponents as much anymore, having at least a semi-reliable outside shot would be helpful. Nobody should expect the big man to be consistently shooting threes anytime soon, or probably even ever, but a respectable mid-range jumper may not be out of the question.
Of course, this could also just be all talk.