Can you imagine missing 19 free throws in one game?

Can you imagine missing 19 free throws in one game?
January 13, 2012, 6:45 pm
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That's what Dwight Howard did last night against the Golden State Warriors when he attempted 39 of them, breaking Wilt Chamberlain's 50-year-old record for attempts in a regular-season game.

Obviously, if Howard could make a decent percentage, he wouldn't get fouled that often. I know he practices and he's a terrific player. But it's funny how today's players won't make one single adjustment that could help them at the foul line.

Shoot them underhanded. It's really that simple. But it's been so long now that anyone in basketball has shot them that way, a lot of young people have never seen it done.

Rick Barry, one of the best foul shooters of all time, shot them underhanded -- the old method they used to call "granny." He told me once that he could improve any foul shooter in just a couple of days by converting them to that style. A lot of people believe that, including some who think physics prove it's the best way.

Jack Ramsay once told me that he helped convert Wilt Chamberlain, a notoriously poor foul shooter, to that method and he immediately improved. But he later gave it up because he said he felt "like a sissy." Brent Barry, Rick's son, shot them that way in high school and when he first got to Oregon State, but later gave it up, too.

Image is everything, they say. Barry says players don't shoot them that way because of "ego." And I think a lot of players would rather not look "uncool" by shooting "grannies." But they're leaving a lot of points (and wins) on the floor because of it.

(If you're interested, here's Barry teaching the method.)