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Blueprint for Lakers to Avoid Opposing Teams Employing Hack-a-Dwight Strategy

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Blueprint for Lakers to Avoid Opposing Teams Employing Hack-a-Dwight Strategy
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

So much for not following in Shaquille O'Neal's footsteps.

First, the Orlando Magic make Dwight Howard the No. 1 pick in the draft. Five years later, Howard's Magic lose in the NBA Finals. A few years after that, Dwight ditches Florida for a glitzier gig with the Los Angeles Lakers.

And now, in the House that Shaq Built (sort of), Howard is subject to the same strategic fouling that was so often used to subdue the Diesel during his days in LA. The Brooklyn Nets took to intentionally sending Howard to the line on Tuesday night (albeit sporadically so) during their 95-90 loss to the Lakers.

Who could blame them? Dwight finished the night an abysmal 7-of-19 from the charity stripe, including an embarrassing airball in the fourth quarter.

If anything, Nets coach Avery Johnson should've done more to employ the tactic, which was first "invented" by Hall-of-Fame coach Don Nelson to take advantage of Dennis Rodman's less-than-sharpshooting. His team didn't start sending Howard to the line intentionally until the 5:18 mark of the fourth quarter. Even then, they didn't do so consistently, thereby allowing Metta World Peace to hit a three and Kobe Bryant to draw a foul in between.

In any case, some copycat coaches around the league are bound to take notice of The Little General's derived strategy for punishing the Purple and Gold. That likely leaves new Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni, a busy man as is, with yet another problem to solve.

Luckily for D'Antoni, he'll have a fistful of fixes at his disposal. 

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