So the Clippers center called Dwight Howard to ask for advice.
"Before I made it to the playoffs, I would talk to Dwight about it a lot," Jordan said Tuesday before the team's practice. "It frustrates guys for sure, but once you go up there maybe about three or four times and get somewhat of a rhythm, you start to knock them down. I don’t think guys really want to talk about it. It’s going to happen, so you’ve got to be ready for it."
The Spurs used the hack-a-Jordan technique sparingly in Game 1, sending Jordan to the free-throw line 12 times in the Clippers' 107-92 win. Jordan, a 39.7% free-throw shooter, made only five free throws.
The fans at Staples Center at one point even tried to encourage Jordan by chanting his name when he was at the free-throw line, although Jordan said that was a distraction that he tried to tune out.
"I just try to focus in to what I'm supposed to do at the line and shoot the basketball," he said.
Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich is known for telling players to foul poor free-throw shooters. In the Clippers' 119-115 win over the Spurs on Feb. 19, Jordan was sent to the free-throw line 28 times and made 10 free throws; the Spurs shot 23 free throws.
After that game, Jordan acknowledged freeling frustrated.
Said Jordan: "After awhile, it kind of wears on you, getting hit by someone who is 250 pounds. But at the same time we won, and that's a positive we won, and I was able to get some free-throw practice."
Jordan said that when he and Howard spoke before the playoffs began, Howard advised him to just stay focused on making his free throws instead of letting his emotions get the better of him.
"Don't get frustrated, don’t tense up, don’t react to when they foul you, because they’re going to do stuff to knock you off what you’re thinking about," Jordan said Howard told him. "Just try to stay locked in as much as possible."
Jordan said he expects to be sent to the free-throw line much more in the remaining games of the best-of-seven playoff series. Game 2 is Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. Staples Center.
"I don't know what goes on in the mind of Pop," Jordan said, referring to Popovich. "I'm not that smart. But it’s a strategy, and I’m pretty sure it’ll be used throughout the rest of the series."