Dwight Howard will step far outside his comfort zone next season.
The Atlanta Hawks center told ESPN’s “The Jump” on Tuesday that he’s working to add long-range shooting to his game in order to remain an impact player in the NBA’s small-ball era. Howard has shot just 56 and made five 3-pointers during his 13-year professional career, but it’s apparently not too late for him to adapt with the times.
“I’ve been working on my threes, really trying to add some range to my game,” Howard said. “Which is going to be weird for people to see, I guess. They are used to seeing me in the paint battling.
“In order for me to play longer, I have to expand my game. The game is not just back to the basket, get the ball in the post and go to work. It’s more stepping away from the basket, setting screens, popping, shooting threes and stuff like that. People haven’t seen me do that.
“It’s going to be an adjustment for me but also the fans. I think it’s going to be fun.”
Howard has notoriously struggled from the free-throw line, shooting 56.6 percent for his career. If shooting from 15 feet away from the basket is hard enough for him, how does he expect to thrive from 23 feet and beyond?
The answer is hiding in plain sight — through hard work. Lots of it.
Thumbnail photo via Sam Sharpe/USA TODAY Sports Images