Here's a sentence that was never, ever written in the last eight years:
The Magic's starting center is on pace to average more than 70 percent at the free-throw line.
So, if you've been desperately searching for the most microscopic upside of the Dwight Howard trade, there you go. There's your aha! moment.
Nik Vucevic headed into Friday night's game against the Cleveland Cavs shooting a robust 70.6 percent. I think they ought to retire his number.
Of course, the still-evolving Vucevic, 21, takes far fewer shots and thereby visits the stripe only a little more often than Stuff the mascot.
He had just 17 attempts, or a paltry 1.5-per-game average, but he had made 12 free throws. Seventeen trips was just another night for Howard.
Vucevic has made strides after resembling Howard last season, when he shot a frosty 52.9 percent. Oddly, the only thing the two had in common was that both began the season as 58.8-percent career free-throw shooters.
Now it's the Lakers who are trying to make sense of Howard's misses.
And you have to laugh, because fans and media in L.A. are taken aback that he's this bad with no one guarding him. It's like he suddenly beamed down as some alien life form, dropping in from a distant planet to shockingly and mysteriously clank, brick and even whiff free-throw attempts.
It's like when a Christmas fruitcake arrives, and you're surprised it's harder than petrified wood. What did the Lakers think they were getting — John Stockton?
Watching Howard deliver two air balls from the line should have been met with a shrug or typical L.A. indifference.
You'd think in the age of the Internet and pocket communications that they might have picked up signals from a place called Orlando, where Howard spent eight seasons launching Scud missiles and wounding his pride.
Then again, I get it: If you don't live in EL-A, you really don't exist.
What's funny is that you aren't really aware of a guy's wonder and warts until he becomes your player.
And after 12 games, which includes a 7-for-19 effort against Brooklyn, Dwight was averaging 49 percent.
Laker Nation is cringing, some booing.
Writers are (over-)analyzing his troubles.
Teams such as the Nets are intentionally fouling him and sending him to the line, employing the Hack-A-Howard.
There's talk from Shot Doctors.
A Lakers assistant is working on Dwight's mechanics (the coach is Chuck Person, who was called "The Rifleman" when he played. "He was basically shooting sideways," Person said.)