The Lakers beat the Rockets last night thanks to a last-second three pointer from
Kobe Bryant, nope, wait, Steve Blake? Oh, okay. Anyway, the upset — if you can call it that — happened thanks in part to the Lakers employing the “Hack-A-Howard” strategy, a tactic that Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni has said he “hates.” Well, he didn’t hate it enough to not use it, and use it well, last night against his former center.
Howard went an ugly 5-16 from the line, including 7 missed free throws in the fourth quarter, to help keep the Lakers in the game. The strategy also gave us at least one hilarious instance of seeing a giant man run away from smaller men who were trying to foul him (via SB Nation):
After the game, D’Antoni admitted to his hypocrisy a bit: “That doesn’t mean you’re not going to use it, if it’s out there. I’m not crazy.”
He also said this:
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
All in all, a good win for the Lakers, and for the rest of the league. Even when James Harden puts up a monster stat line (35 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals) and Howard grabs boards, the Rockets can be beat.
Photo via Getty