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Red's Army

Possible Suspension For Dwight Howard?

Jay May 19, 2010 Uncategorized 19 Comments

File this post under the "In Case You Missed It" folder.  Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN.com' fantastic TrueHoop basketball blog, makes the point that all flagrant fouls are subject to league review.  Within this post, he outlines how a Dwight Howard suspension is possible (though unlikely).  He also cites the elbow to Samuel Dalembert during the 2009 Eastern Conference playoffs that sidelined Howard for one game.  Is the clothesline to Paul Pierce worse?  Check out the aforementioned link and think about it.

Dwight Howard at risk of suspension
Dwight Howard's flagrant foul in the second quarter was
a blow to Paul Pierce's head. The league reviews all flagrant fouls and expects to come to a conclusion about that on Wednesday. Blows to the head in the past have often resulted in one game suspensions, including Howard himself for an incident against the Sixers last year. Orlando is down 2-0, and no matter what happens, Howard is going to have to be careful going forward. This was Howard's first flagrant of the postseason, so the flagrant 1 he got Tuesday night gives him his first "playoff flagrant point," as it were. If it's upgraded to a flagrant 2, that would count as two. As soon as Howard gets past three such points for the postseason, he'd be suspended for a game.

Howard Clotheslines Pierce:


Howard Elbows Dalembert:

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  • http://profile.typepad.com/redsarmy Red’s Army

    I think the intent on Dalembert was definitely more flagrant than on Pierce. He swung at his head. On Paul, he just happened to catch his face as he tossed him down.
    I can see the league upgrading it just because it fits how tightly they’ve been calling things and treating incidents like this….. but I’m not going to get up in arms over it.
    If Perk did that and got suspended, I’d understand but probably be a little upset… so I can’t sit there and go nuts if Howard isn’t.

  • d

    Michael Thompson (former Laker and now on ESPN Radio in LA) said he absolutely thinks Dwight should be suspended for that for what it was and based on the rule itself.
    and added that if he’s not – it’s complete bias.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/the_bantam the_bantam

    I agree with Thompson. It’s minimally a flagrant 2. And if you watch it, he cocks his hand back an inch or two once he realizes Paul wasn’t going up.. that shows intent in my book.
    Generally speaking? No, I think it is what it is and we should move onto the next game. But considering how tightly they’ve been calling things, this would look like bias if they left it alone. The league just needs to decide to be consistent. With the calls by the officials, with the fines/suspensions. They just leave way too much room for debate at every turn.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/mrtripledouble10 MrTripleDouble10

    I’m trying to decide if Howard’s clothesline was greater than, less than or equal to either of the KG elbows that earned him a suspension (against Miami, and against Bogut last year).
    Thoughts?

  • BigMck

    I’m stunned at the apathy of Celtics fans over this.
    To me, it was an obvious blow to the head and warranted a flagrant 2 and immediate ejection.

  • BigMck

    Here are the official definitions (via NBA.com):
    A flagrant 1 is unnecessary contact. This is usually when a defensive player swings and makes hard contact with the offensive player or makes hard contact and then follows through.
    A flagrant foul 2 is unnecessary and excessive contact. This usually has a swinging motion, hard contact, and a follow through.

  • DRJ

    Kevin Arnovitz seems to have made up that “rule” about some kind of limit (of 3, he says) on playoff flagrant fouls. I checked the 09 rule book and referee guide, and could find nothing about that at all. So unless the rule is new for 2010, or I totally missed it (not likely, I searched both books) it looks like he just made it up.
    Agree with John — it could be upgraded, and he could be suspended. But his intention was not as malicious as it could have been, since the foul began by Paul jumping into his outstretched arms.
    BUT — Howard did bring his arms DOWN HARD, and did FOLLOW THROUGH with that motion. The “follow-through” is a specific criterion given to refs by which they are supposed to judge flagrants. It is taken as an indication to call it a 2.

  • DRJ

    Just wanna add: Howard’s a kid… but a dangerous kid.

  • NineSevenEight

    I loved Rashard Lewis and his enthusiasm for clapping as if that flagrant would motivate the fans to get behind them; motivate the team, even. That was the most energy I’ve seen him use this whole series.

  • Jason

    I’m sort of with you here. Why aren’t we all up in arms? Me included. To me, a couple of factors are the Cs are just unapologetically hacking Howard constantly. This is not a free pass for him to whack back, but any one of those hacks could just as easily cross the line from hard foul to dirty foul if by chance it happened to hit the wrong part of the body (neck, head, whatever). So, the Cs have been walking this line and Cs fans are aware of and knowledgeable about this. Pierce got Howard to do exactly what he wanted: faked him out of his shoes and forced a foul. But Howard’s a pretty strong guy and his arm happened to catch the head. It makes things look worse maybe than what was intended. I think Cs fans appreciate a solid playoff foul and can see the difference between a that and a cheap, dirty foul. This one walks the line. And as others have eluded, if it was the other way, we’d probably be pretty upset with a suspension.
    I think the other major reason is the Cs are up 2-0 and the sentiment is “Whatever, we’re winning either way, so who cares?”

  • D

    NBA announced that Dwight Howard NOT suspended for game 3. The foul wasn’t even upgraded to a Flagrant 2. Figures.

  • sangsanh

    is it Kevin Arnovitz or Henry Abbott that wrote that piece?

  • DRJ

    I THOUGHT it said Kevin Arnovitz when I clicked to it earlier. Now it says Henry Abbott. Oh well… what’s in a name?

  • Greg

    That wasn’t even a flagrant foul. Just a good, hard playoff foul. Keep begging weaklings. Go watch the WNBA if you think Dwight should be suspended for that. Give me a break. Bunch of women…

  • tony

    the league should be consistent on enforcing rules. That should have been a flagrant 2 and an automatic 1 game suspension. He didn’t even go after the ball..If that was Perk / Sheed or any one else who wasn’t a poster boy for the nba they would’ve been gone for 1 game no questions asked.

  • tony

    figures… Stern protecting the poster child of the NBA..

  • PeaceSignMoose

    Admit that if Perk came down like that on Vince Carter, you’d be crying bloody murder right now. Carter also would have danced around like Erick Aybar (for reference: http://www.outincenterfield.com/2008/10/awesome-animated-gif-of-the-week-4/ )if Perk didn’t get thrown out on the spot.

  • DRJ

    Fyi — there is no “automatic” suspension on an upgrade. It’s at the discretion of the Commissioner.

  • sangsanh

    I was smack talking about Abbott in that article. Just wanted to direct it to the correct author.