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New Atlanta Hawks big man Dwight Howard working on mid-range game, free throws

The modern NBA big man is more comfortable on the perimeter than ever. That extends to centers.

Dwight Howard represents a dying breed in the league today. Once the most dominant post-up threat and feared protector of the rim, his kind have become rare.

Howard headed back home this summer when he signed with the Atlanta Hawks. Possibly in preparation to keep up with the Hawks’ schemes, Howard is working on adding some new elements to his game during the offseason.

That’s right. Howard is literally bragging about his jump shot, even mentioning @LethalShooter in the tweet. That’s one term you’d never associate with Howard.

The Hawks’ offense under Mike Budenholzer is dependant on good spacing. Their big men of the past few seasons, Paul Millsap and Al Horford, were perfect for this. Either could step out behind the 3-point line and knock down shots at a respectable rate. Howard is much different.

There is talk already that Howard will help the Hawks’ spacing just by being a threat rolling to the rim. Howard apparently doesn’t want it to stop there. If he can consistently knock down a little 12-foot jumper, that would make him even more perfect for Atlanta’s offense.

Howard has never been a good shooter. He’s a career 56.8 percent free throw shooter and he was under 50 percent last season. He kind of had a little mid-range, face-up jumper during his prime in Orlando, but that didn’t last long.

Big men always benefit from adding a little jumper as their career starts to decline. Howard could use one. If he develops it, Atlanta may have hit the jackpot in signing him.

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