Dwight Howard Free Throws: Houston Rockets Center Hits 90 Percent of Foul Shots in Practice (VIDEO)
Dwight Howard is living proof that Yogi Berra's quote, "Baseball is 90 percent mental; the other half is physical" is true in basketball as well.
Howard, in his first year as center of the Houston Rockets, was video recorded shooting free throws before the Rockets' Nov. 16 home game against the Denver Nuggets.
Howard, a career 57.6 percent free-throw shooter, showed that he can hit foul shots when it doesn't count. The video, sent in to TheStarters.NBA.com, shows the mercurial all-star making 18 of his 20 attempts, for an impressive 90 percent.
He looks comfortable at the line and has a consistent routine.
When Howard gets into a live game, however, he looks anything but comfortable. To his credit, Howard is converting 54.4 percent of his free throws (81-of-149), which is a five percent improvement from his lone ill-fated season with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2012-13.
Howard shot 49.2 percent from the line (355-of-721) with the Lakers.
His mental capacity seems to be the reason that he is unable to put a team on his back and take it to another level. Howard is considered the best center in the NBA, but he has been able to take a team to the NBA finals just once - in 2009 as a member of the Orlando Magic, which lost in six games to the Lakers.
Howard's latest turmoil is his $25,000 fine for tossing a ball at a heckler in the stands in Dallas during the Rockets' 123-120 loss on Wednesday night. To be fair to Howard, the toss wasn't at all malicious. Since Howard also has a reputation as a whiner, the incident counts as a strike, proving that he still has many strides to go mentally, before he can physically lead a team to a championship.