What a difference a year—and a change of uniform—makes for Mike D'Antoni's opinion of the hack-a-Dwight strategy.
Last year, D'Antoni coached the center in Los Angeles and suffered through his well-documented problems at the charity stripe. And—surprise, surprise—D'Antoni was not a fan of opponents fouling Dwight in close-and-late situations.
D'Antoni on Hack-a-Howard last year "We're an entertainment business. That's not entertaining for anybody" http://t.co/91Fm4KHWGZ— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) November 8, 2013
This year, however, Dwight is wearing the uniform of the Houston Rockets. And it is D'Antoni's job to beat the Rockets by any means necessary. So guess who is the most recent convert to everyone's favorite Dwight-neutralizing late-game strategy?
Last year, Mike D'Antoni criticized the Magic for going to Hack-a-Dwight strategy. Tonight he used it and Howard was 5-16 (31.2%) on FTs.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) November 8, 2013
D'Antoni even found time to crack a joke at Howard's well-known problems hitting free throws late in games.
D'Antoni couldn't resist crack about how he as coach let Dwight stay in last season while being Hack-a-Dwight'd: "Trying to re-sign him..."— KEVIN DING (@KevinDing) November 8, 2013
Hey Mike, if you want to laugh some more at Dwight, take a look at this video of him running away from defenders looking to foul him. It's a laugh riot! (h/t SI's Point Forward blog)