Dwight Howard Picks Up 15th Technical Foul, One More Is a Suspension
When you think of players in the league who might be among the leaders in technical fouls on the season, the name Dwight Howard doesn't immediately come to mind. After all, the guy is among the most fan-friendly superstars we have in the game today, and he just doesn't seem like the type to let the officials have it to the point where he's racked up more Ts than a guy like Rasheed Wallace.
But it's true: Howard picked up his 17th technical foul of the season during his team's overtime win in Miami on Thursday. Two have been rescinded by the league, which leaves him with an official tally of 15. If and when he gets number 16, he'll have earned himself an automatic one-game suspension.
"They want to call technicals on him, period," Stan Van Gundy said.
"I've been trying to be extra careful, but it's hard sometimes," Howard said. "It gets frustrating. On one end, you feel like you don't get any and sometimes you get calls that go against you."
This is likely the crux of the problem for Howard.
The Magic have won each of their last two games, but Howard has had little to do with it, because he was stuck on the bench with early foul trouble in each contest. While Howard gets called for blocking fouls in the lane that could go either way, or gets called for "body" fouls when players come into the paint driving right into him, it's obviously frustrating.
Especially when on the offensive end, Howard gets hit over and over again, while, more often than not, the officials choose to let the contact against him go without a whistle.
There's no easy answer on how to handle this if you're Dwight Howard. I suppose he could flop and flail a little more on the offensive end to accentuate the times when he gets fouled so the officials, over the course of the game, might be guilted into making a few more calls in his favor.
But honestly, things aren't likely to change much. And given the fact that the technical foul count resets to zero for the postseason, there's not a ton to worry about here in terms of Howard being suspended for a playoff game. Howard would have to pick up a whopping seven technicals once the playoffs start to force a suspension, and let's face it: the league would likely rescind any that weren't completely egregious to prevent that from happening.