Lakers Center Has Been Weirdly Historic With His 3-Point Bombing

Dwight Howard LA Lakers

Getty Los Angeles Lakers big man Dwight Howard warms up before a game against the Memphis Grizzlies.

The Los Angeles Lakers have hardly been the team that fans had hoped to see at the beginning of the season. However, if one squints hard enough — or applies enough strange qualifiers to their spreadsheet — there’s some real history being made by the club.

Specifically, 18th-year big man Dwight Howard is on pace to do something never before seen in the NBA. And he’s doing it with his three-point stroke of all things.

In the history of the league, there have only been nine players 6-foot-10 or taller to make 50% or more of their triples while taking at least 10% of their shots from long range for a season, with a minimum of eight attempts. Two of them are doing it this season — Miami Heat big man Dewayne Dedmon and Howard.

However, Howard is breaking new ground in this super specific — but totally legitimate — statistical category. By hitting six of his eight three-point attempts for the year, he’s at 75% for the season. If that number holds up, it will have been the best conversion rate of all time among that very elite group.


Dwight Faces Stiff Competition for the ‘Record’


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Although Howard is on pace to break this criminally underreported record, Dedmon is making a strong push for the mark as well. To date, the Heat big man has connected on seven of his 11 three-point attempts, which equates to a 63.6% conversion rate.

However, Dedmon’s history of firing three-pointers in volume may work against him here. During the 2018-19 campaign with the Atlanta Hawks, Dedmon was a true stretch big, making 83 triples in 217 tries (38.2%) More recently, though, he has really picked his spots from deep.

Since joining the Heat in April, Dedmon has taken just 16 three-point shots.

The current record — again, for the highest three-point percentage among players 6-10 or taller who have taken at least 10% of their shots as threes, minimum eight attempts — is held by retired sharpshooter Steve Novak. During the 2010-11 campaign, Novak connected on 56.5% of his 46 three-point attempts.

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Howard’s Three-Shooting Renaissance

The three-point shot was never really part of Howard’s arsenal until last season when, as a member of the Philadelphia 76ers, he made five threes in 20 tries. At the time, Howard had this to say about his evolution as a stretch option, via Sixers Wire:

I’ve been practicing, but my role on a lot of teams, they would like me to roll to the basket and go for offensive rebounds and I’ve been very efficient at that my whole career… Even though I have practiced threes and I believe I can knock those shots down for our team, what we need for us to win, they need me in the paint causing havoc. Every now and then, if coach gives me an opportunity to step out and hit a three, I’m gonna make sure I knock it down.

Clearly, he’s still making the most of those opportunities.

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