WATCH: Hawks' Dwight Howard tries to expand his game, with mixed results

Dwight Howard apparently wishes he were a guard. A couple of weeks ago, the Atlanta Hawks center told CBS Sports Radio's Doug Gottleib that he wants to shoot 3-pointers. Howard has yet to try that this season, but Wednesday in a 109-107 loss to the Phoenix Suns, he went wild in a different way.

Here's Howard trying to push the ball on a fast break in the first quarter:

Very ambitious. He gets an A for effort, and an F for execution. What a disastrous pass.

That play was sandwiched in between two jumpers, though, and Howard had much more success there:

That second one was pretty impressive, right? Howard caught the ball with 18 seconds on the shot clock, 19 feet away, and launched without hesitation. If Atlanta's coaching staff is encouraging him to do that, and he can become consistent with it before the end of the season, it would count as a major improvement in his 13th season in the league. That is not a normal thing.

Also abnormal: Atlanta hovering around the .500 mark. With the loss -- its fourth in a row and seventh in eight games -- it is now 10-9 on the season. The Hawks won six straight in early November, but they're now looking shaky.

CBS Sports Writer

James Herbert is somewhat fond of basketball, feature writing and understatements. A former season-ticket holder for the expansion Toronto Raptors, Herbert does not think the NBA was better back in the... Full Bio

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