Blogtable: Fix What On Who?

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.


Changing fortunes: Nets or Blazers? | First-time All-Star | Fixing a fatal flaw


Dwight Howard is making a tad less than 53 percent of his free-throw attempts.

Dwight Howard is shooting only 52.9 percent from the free-throw line. (Bill Baptist/NBAE)

If you could fix one part of one guy’s game, what for who?

Steve Aschburner, NBA.com: Easy. Dwight Howard. Free throws. It could help him as much mentally as statistically, freeing him from the burden and worry of Hack-a-Dwight strategy. More than that, though, it frees me from having to watch that slop, from the intentional fouls to his feeble efforts from the line.

Fran Blinebury, NBA.com: Clank!  Oh, this one’s a free throw. Clank! Dwight Howard’s free throws. Clank!

Jeff Caplan, NBA.com: Considering how the season started, is there any other answer than fixing Dwight Howard’s free throws — and if not that his post-up game? Despite his field-goal percentage and free-throw percentage practically being mirror images in the low 50s, Dwight’s still averaging 17.2 ppg. Imagine if he could hit a 5-foot hook or a 15-foot freebie.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Kent Smith/NBAE)

Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com: Fixing anything with a player, I would correct Greg Oden’s health — he could have been really good if his body had not betrayed him. But fixing part of a someone’s game, I’ll fix Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s shot. A guy with that much athleticism and that much of a motor shouldn’t be so easy to defend. But take away the drive and he’s so limited.

John Schuhmann, NBA.comMichael Kidd-Gilchrist’s jumper. MKG has shown signs – particularly in a couple of early-season matchups with Carmelo Anthony – of being an elite defender. And he has offensive skills as a playmaker and off-ball cutter. But his shot is a major flaw, even with the work he’s put in with assistant coach Mark Price. If he can somehow develop into a good shooter, he can eventually be one of the best two-way players in the league, much like the guy – Andre Iguodala — he says he’s modeling his game after.

Sekou Smith, NBA.comJust one? Don’t you usually get three strikes … or is it three wishes? Anyway. It’s hard to pass up finishing the circle on Blake Griffin‘s game, with some post moves to go with everything else he brings to the table. And I could easily go with Dwight Howard’s free throw shooting or some low-post moves that he’s supposed to already be showcasing. I’d even dial up better shot selection and overall decision-making from Russell Westbrook. But I cannot shake the image of (a healthy) Rajon Rondo operating with Stephen Curry’s shooting stroke. Can you imagine how ridiculously lethal Rondo would be with an offensive arsenal to match the rest of his game? If someone could fix Rondo’s shot and make him a lights out shooter from the mid-range all the way beyond the 3-point line … we’re talking about a player that would be virtually unstoppable on both ends of the floor, a guy who could lay claim to being the most complete player in the game not only at his position but in the entire league. Sure, it’s fantasy land. And Rondo, by the way, is a career 48 percent shooter from the floor — though just 24 percent from deep. But you started it with the question!

Lang Whitaker, NBA.com’s All Ball blog: My high school coach used to drill into us that free throws were the easiest shot in basketball. They’re the only shot where you stand completely unguarded and get 10 seconds to take a simple 15-footer. Off the top of my head I can think of several guys who could use a magic wand to fix their woes at the line, including Dwight Howard and Andre Drummond, but for the purposes of this exercise I’ll go with DeAndre Jordan. He’s shooting 45 percent on FTs so far this season, and he’s a frequent target of intentional fouls when opponents are trying to mount a comeback. If he could make just two more shots out of each 10, he’d be up over 60 percent, would bump up his points per game, would probably be more willing to do work in the post without the fear of being sent to the line, and would make the Clippers a more complete team.

Stefanos Triantafyllos, NBA GreeceEasy one… The most intriguing thing would be to see a Rajon Rondo who can shoot off the dribble. If he can get all those assists when the defense only worries about his penetrations, what would happen if he could also make long-range shots? How could a team stop him? How many assists he would get out of pick-n-roll situations? I pick Rondo, because he is so so so good in other aspects of the game, but shoots poorly, as other superstars have a more all-around skill set.

Davide Chinellato, NBA ItaliaGive Blake Griffin Kevin Garnett’s mid-range shot and you’ll have one of the best power forwards ever. KG was lethal from 18 feet from the basket in his prime, and Blake is working on his shot. And with Doc Rivers keeping an eye on him, he’s getting better. The Clippers are counting on it. I don’t think Blake will ever be as lethal as KG, but if anyone can help him, Doc can.

23 Comments

  1. m says:

    For Dwight Howard, i hate to admit it, but his game worked best in Orlando under Stan Van Gundy’s system. Just take this video for example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMBIntMN6l8
    All the ball movement, rim-running, catching the ball with deep post position, and a plethora of shooters surrounding him, it was the perfect offensive system for him to thrive.

  2. kkk says:

    MKG jumpshot looks like charles barkley`s golf swing, uglyest jump shot ive ever seen. and his release is so slow that anyone can block it unless he is wide open

  3. J says:

    Blake Griffin’s defence. Why? Cause he don’t block no shots!

  4. Karlo Garcia says:

    I would fix Demarcus Cousins mental state of mind. I have watched him play couple of times this season & gets to much going on with the officials & technical fouls. In an instance would fix his mentally. Has such really good footwork & skills but his mental part of his game is overshawdowing it.

  5. Arnel Mayogba says:

    If you took away LeBron’s physical gifts he would be an average player….WTH This is like saying if you took away Steph’s shooting, he will not be in the NBA. Or if you took away MJ’s will to win, Kobe’s footwork and shooting, Magic’s vision, Kareem’s hook…etc, etc. Get over it people, they have it. Lebron was born with it and works diligently. Steph is born with his shooting and works on it, MJ is born with the will to win, deal with it……

  6. Stephen says:

    If I could fix anything with Dwight Howard, my first choice would be to instill him with a killer instinct. He would finally be as dominant as he should be, and his free throw woes (which will likely never change) wouldn’t matter as much. See Shaq for evidence.

  7. Zac says:

    Russel Westbrooks fashion choices, and d wades jump shot

  8. Blackb24mamba says:

    Change one thing about a player here is some. Nate Robinson)- Make him taller imagine if nate with all his skills and athleticism was 6-4 to 6-6. He might be best player in the league. Kevin Durant (Stronger)-Imagine durant adding 20 to 30 pounds of muscle and being able to bang with his shot and speed. This might be the easiest to accomplish all he has to do is get on the juice…Javale McGee)-Higher Bball IQ & Fundamentals. He is an athletic freak for his size if he lets say had Kobe’s mentality and work ethic he would be/could be greatest center ever. I like the point about rondo but the same could be said about lebron imagine if he had steph curry stroke…

  9. B says:

    James Harden’s beard

  10. Matty Tee says:

    Craig Sager’s jacket selection.

  11. wondo says:

    Kings organization: to stop giving John Salmons playing time

  12. Dalton Young says:

    George Hill’s ability to run true point and better playmaking to create opportunities for others. Don’t get me wrong, I love Hill, but if he added Rajon Rondo’s ability to create and dish into the created open space to get his teammates better looks, that would be scary considering he already has the touch from long-range. If he could run true point with his level of shot-making, you could probably go ahead and give the Pacers their rings.

  13. Marcus says:

    Rondo’s jump shot, he’s already elite but he would be even more impossible to guard.

  14. Steven says:

    Josh Smith Three point rating

  15. Franck says:

    Lebrons physical gifts only because then it would be equal playing ground for anyone who is attempting to guard him.
    then again I wouldnt want to rob the fans of his greatness.

    I would go with Iversons age, turn him 20 again, I miss AI

    • A.I/MJ > KB24/LBJ23 says:

      funny but i agree
      i love leBron as a player but i miss the iverson days where you knew someone was getting there ankles broke and iverson putting up hella points when you watched a 76ers game. now its just lebron dominating and chris paul is helping but iverson at the age of 20, dude he would dominate the league, if only he has a great team. .. if only

    • asdf says:

      If you took away LeBron’s physical gifts he would be an average player. He wouldn’t be able to just run through people on the way to the basket so they would stand closer to him, which means jumpshots with defender in your face (so far he shoots them wide-open so they are no a testimony to his shooting ability. Finally, he won’t be nowhere near as good on defense. His whole game is based on his physicality, even in the aspects which are not directly connected to it, like jumpshooting.

  16. Zach says:

    Ricky Rubio and his jump shot

  17. justsayin says:

    Blake Griffin’s free throws would be a good place to start, he gets fouled a lot and if he could shoot 80% he would be in spitting distance of the league leaders in scoring. I don’t know where this criticism of his post game is coming from, why do people like Sekou continue ripping a player with such good quickness and footwork? Some things just seem fashionable to say.

    Great point about Rondo’s shot, but I wouldn’t waste a wish on someone with such a selfish attitude about playing for his country int the Olympics, etc. Heh, “pay me”? We’re so loaded at pg he probably couldn’t get in for free at this point.