Clippers Coach Doc Rivers and Houston Rockets Coach Kevin McHale have something in common -- they both have players who are liabilities from the free-throw line.
Clippers' center DeAndre Jordan shot 39.7% from the charity stripe this season. Rockets' center Dwight Howard shot 52.8% from that distance, and Rockets' forward Josh Smith shot 52.1%
"Kevin and I have the truce going, it will be a no hack-a-series, or it will be all-hack-series," Rivers joked Monday before Game 1 of the teams' second-round playoff series.
In the Clippers' first-round series against the San Antonio Spurs, Coach Gregg Popovich often used the hack-a-Jordan strategy. The Clippers center took some relief in knowing that he most likely won't be put through that same pressure this time around, since the Clippers can now retaliate.
Said Jordan: I don't think that will happen this series; if so, the games will be five hours long."
Jordan said he actually called Howard for some advice before the Clippers' first-round series, in which he knew he'd get sent to the line a lot. Howard told him to just stay focused on making his free throws instead of letting his emotions get the better of him.
"'Just trying to stay locked into the game mentally, with all of the hack-a-whatever,'" Jordan recalled Howard telling him. "'Just staying focused on the present, and not let things like that distract you from the game.'"
When Jordan was a freshman in high school, he met Howard at an NBA Top 50 camp and they became fast friends.