Dwight Howard's Free-Throw Air Ball vs. Heat Encapsulates Lakers' Awful Season

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Dwight Howard going to the line is always an emotional affair for Lakers fans. On Thursday night, in a game against the Miami Heat, Howard air-balled a free throw the team absolutely needed. 

I guess calling it an air ball is a little harsh. I mean, he did manage to get a little bit of net as the ball fell from the sky from sheer depression. 

The shot came with just under two minutes remaining in a 92-90 game—one the Heat would eventually win, 99-90. 

Shame on me for expecting anything different. 

I did something that has proved increasingly frustrating this NBA season. I turned on the Lakers game and watched them lose. 

If you want to know the kind of season the Lakers are having, consider most fans were at least placated to see the purple and gold weren't blown out of Staples Center by the King and his court of Heat stars. 

Instead, the Lakers were great as well as awful, and all in the same game, which is a microcosm for the season. If you want to see what I mean, just take a look at this NBA All-Star whiff on a charity shot. 

Let's forget, for a moment, why these Lakers are only a couple games better than the Sacramento Kings at the moment. 

We could talk about their defense, which ranks 26th in the league as far as points allowed. We might also point to their propensity to turn the ball over, something they did 20 times in a nationally-covered game Thursday night. 

Let's just concentrate on the frustration of watching a star-studded team perform more like the Three Stooges for most of the season. 

Pau Gasol is shooting three's, Mike D'Antoni has a square peg he is stuffing through a round hole, Steve Nash is looking older, Kobe Bryant is content to dominate the offense and Dwight Howard is chucking up balls that don't reach the rim. 

The Lakers may not make the playoffs, just as Howard may not reach the rim next time he shoots a free throw. 

Finally, after a good portion of the season gone, neither would surprise me. 

Hit me up on Twitter for more NBA nonsense. 

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