Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard drew a technical foul in Game 1 of his team's first round NBA playoffs series. Posted by Ben Golliver.
We've spent a good part of the second half of the season lamenting the fact that Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard just doesn't get it when it comes to technical fouls. Howard, enabled by his coach Stan Van Gundy, has convinced himself he's a target for hard fouls of opposing players and the recipient of some unfair whistles from unsympathetic officials.
That may be true, but Howard has a permanent blind eye to his own behavior, which alternates between baby-ish and unnecessarily physical. Howard's act earned him 18 technical fouls during the regular season -- costing him two games worth of suspensions without pay -- and, on Saturday, it was the same old story during Game 1 of Orlando's first round playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks.
With his team trailing 68-54 midway through the third quarter, Howard lost contact with Hawks center Zaza Pachulia as he looked to provide help defense, and Pachulia smartly turned that into inside rebounding position once the shot went up. Howard, already with three fouls, decided the best course of action was to hack Pachulia from behind to prevent the putback lay-up attempt. Howard executed the hard foul but followed through with extra force -- for no apparent reason -- causing Pachulia to fall to the ground and leading the baseline referee to instantly assess a technical foul for the action.
Here's a look at the sequence.
The Hawks held off the Magic, 103-93.
It's unclear if anything or anyone will ever be able to get through to Howard regarding his on-court behavior and decision-making. As it stands, Howard is the league's most unstoppable force as he proved by putting up a playoff career-high 46 points and 19 rebounds. Imagine how good he would be if he didn't self-handicap so frequently.