The Los Angeles Lakers are coming off a disappointing loss to the Indiana Pacers after shooting a horrid 53.5 percent from the free-throw line.
Along with Dwight Howard shooting an awful 3-12 from the charity stripe, a few other players on the team that shoot fairly well from the line also struggled with Darius Morris and Metta World Peace both only hitting one free throw out of four attempts.
Kobe Bryant wasn’t immune to missing shots from the free-throw line missing two out of 13 shots, but he wasn’t particularly concerned with the team’s 20 shots missed from the charity stripe via Eric Pincus of the L.A. Times:
“It boggles my mind that I had 10 turnovers,” said Bryant. “My responsibility is to pick everybody up. It doesn’t matter if we miss 20 free throws, we still could have won the game. The fact is we had 10 possessions where we couldn’t get looks at the basket because I turned it over.”
Obviously, Kobe was much more disappointed with his 10 turnovers. Kobe may have lit up the scoreboard with a game-high 40 points and got the job done on the glass with 10 rebounds, but those double-digit turnovers became a glaring stat with the Lakers only losing by two against the Pacers.
Despite Kobe’s disappointment in his own performance, the Lakers aren’t going to win many games shooting just over 50 percent from the free-throw line. Howard’s shooting from the charity stripe needs to improve. Opponents of the Lakers will consistently bank on the fact that Howard is not a good shooter from the line and the Hack-a-Howard will become a problem moving forward if this team can’t begin to play up to expectations under head coach Mike D’Antoni.
The waiting game continues for Steve Nash’s return. Nash is still trying to recover from the leg fracture suffered at the beginning of the season. The Lakers will likely continue to get a pass until the two-time NBA MVP returns, but if the struggles persist with Nash running the show in the backcourt, changes will need to be made.