Video Analysis: Dwight Howard's "Foul-umentary" | Magic Basketball

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Apr 29

Video Analysis: Dwight Howard’s “Foul-umentary”

A few days have passed since the Orlando Magic swept the Charlotte Bobcats in the first round of the 2010 NBA Playoffs but there is still a lot to talk about from the matchup. Like Dwight Howard‘s foul troubles. Long story short, the Bobcats used their trio of big men — Tyson Chandler, Nazr Mohammed, and Theo Ratliff — to frustrate Howard as much as possible and coax him into committing silly fouls whenever possible. Mission accomplished. The fact that Charlotte was unable to win a game in the series is irrelevant. What is relevant is that Howard was always seemed to commit a foul when he played. The Magic were able to get away with having Howard serve the role as spectator on the bench for prolonged stretches in games but it can’t be understated how important it is that he’s on the floor for Orlando, especially on defense. If Howard can’t stop fouling, the Magic are going to be in trouble later in the postseason.

Some people may be wondering, how did Howard commit his fouls? Well, at the behest of several people, I made a “foul-umentary” to chronicle all of Howard’s fouls from Games 1-3 against the Bobcats. I was unable to include Game 4 due to technical difficulties.

The video is for educational purposes only.

Enjoy?

28 comments
rwsgoblue
rwsgoblue

My position is that the game is not called fairly Dwight has been fouled as aggressively or more that he fouled Paul Pierce it is unfortunate how games are called now. Because he is stronger than every one else he gets a raw deal from the refs if they do not fix this I will not watch the rest of the ret of the playoffs

Eddy Rivera
Eddy Rivera

@Bishop

Most of the fouls weren't BS. The majority of them were legit if you look through the lens of an objective and unbiased observer.

@Craig

It'll be tough for the Hawks because they don't normally attack the basket with the same type of aggressiveness as the Bobcats.

@Andrew, @rwsgoblue, @Liam

It's frustrating but the referees, generally, do the best job that they can. Do they mess up? Sure, they do. They're human. Mistakes happen. Likewise, I don't think it's fair to pile in one bad apple (Tim Donaghy) with the other officials in the NBA.

Liam
Liam

Im on the same page Andrew. Watching the games live here in Orlando was torture. Dwight was really being victimized and yes he did commit some stupid fouls too. Fact is he should be repected the way Kobe and LeBron are and he's not. The fact that NBA refs are the best in the world is a sad, sad fact for the game of basketball.

rwsgoblue
rwsgoblue

i must echo most of the statements previously made the foul dwight was called for were bordering on comical. The one I saw on tv that frustrated me the most was against D.J. Augistine when he tries the reverse lay up and attempts to stop Dwight from blocking it by grabbing his arm which knocks him off balance and they call Dwight for it when it should have been a offensive foul even though he ended up on the floor. I have done some refing in local games and know it is very difficult but the nba must also acknowledge that it’s oversight of the refs has been poor with the betting scandal on Donavan four years ago never getting caught. the fact that joey Crawford and tim Duncan admit they do even mildly tolerate each other and for three strait years have them matched up for two playoff series then finaly suspend crawford for unfair treatment. I am a huge NBA fan but they need to keep a better eye on the reefing cause more than any other sport refing affects the outcome.

Andrew
Andrew

I cant even watch the whole video its just that frustrating.

Craig
Craig

Watching this video, I have to agree that there were four bad calls made. One each in the first two games, and two in the third game. That still leaves enough viable calls, to potentially cause Howard to have to sit during some crucial minutes. I would like to see the Hawks find a way to get Howard into foul trouble, so that their own big men can take advantage, in the paint.

Bishop
Bishop

I'm just glad I don't get fined for stating my opinion. Most of the fouls are BS!! D12 did commit some fouls off of frustration, but the rest are absurd seriously. I even agree w D12, Barnes and Van Gundy's comments that they were all fined for but the fact that it had to be said makes D12 more of a target. So he just gotta play like he's been playing during the season and hopefully improves his free throw shooting.

Eddy Rivera
Eddy Rivera

@LakersFan

Most of the fouls were legit, sure, but there were a few iffy calls where the officials could have just let things go. That could be said for a lot of players, not just Howard.

@Billy (slickw143), @derekk

Good thoughts, for the most part.

@Josh

There were more than 7 legit fouls on Howard. I'd have to disagree with you there. That being said, credit should go to the Bobcats because they did an excellent job of frustrating Howard and taking him out of games. Plain and simple. People may not like what Chandler, Mohammed, and Ratliff did but hey ... it is what it is. Howard needs to play smarter next time.

@alex

Good questions. For Howard, it's easier said than done.

@Robbie

It's no different with Shaq. For many years, and even now, he was one of the most difficult players to referee. Same with Dwight.

Robbie
Robbie

@LakersFan
Sorry Lakersfan, but when you say it is "up to the player to adjust to the way the refs are calling the game", you're simply wrong. It's really up to the ref to make the correct calls (or at the very aleast, call it the same on both ends of the court). Dwight can't be penalized for naturally having such raw strength. His conduct in these foul calls was mostly legitimate but simply has a greater effect because of his build. If you take Dwight and other big mens' physical attributes out of the eqation, that is simply too great an advantage for guards and some forwards.

alex
alex

@Josh
just for your information , watch the previous two season of Bynum and fouls called on him, there were times were he got called for two fouls within the first two minutes of the game. He's adjusted. Something I have noticed from watching Dwight is he doesn't move his feet, he stands in one spot and tries to overpower everyone or if they drive on him he just jumps up for the block like a brick wall (No Thinking there) . He's an exceptional athlete but he's not applying all that he has, he needs to get quicker and move his feet. Watch the videos again and tell me if he ever makes a motion towards the basket or open space when he's in the post on offense or if he ever tries to get in front of the player instead of just using his arms to knock people around on defense. If he's really that much better a player on Defense then why is he fighting for position in the post? Why doesn't he allow the player to catch it and just block the shot?

alex
alex

i saw two calls that were completely not dwight's fault, the rest are considerably correct, dwight may be big but he needs to learn that you can't just bulldoze people. only argument i have for him is that Lebron gets away with a lot worse.

Josh
Josh

And sorry LakersFan, you simply have no case here. Watch the games, in the "flow" and context.

Watch each "foul" on Dwight. Observe the actions of each Bobcats player "fouled" before and after the "foul."

It really is some lighthearted entertainment now that the Magic have won, and the joke is all on the refs, the NBA, and Stern.

I know you can't really give that much credit to the Magic because its not your team, so try to imagine your young Andrew Bynum in Dwight's place. Bynum uses alot of the same post up type moves and his role is similar: get rebounds, block shots, defend the rim.

Ask yourself: would you really be behind the refs if they called the half these calls that weren't legit on Bynum?

See my earlier post. Dwight DID foul...some. He always does, as does any player who makes a priority of playing defense and blocking shots. But more than half of the "fouls" on this video are not that case. They are simply inexcusable, unexplainable, jokes of calls on Dwight where the refs got it completely wrong.

Be fairminded enough to admit these would irk you if Bynum, Gasol or Odom had to sit because of them.

Josh
Josh

Unfortunately Eddy, this video montage did not help the case of Stern, the Bobcats, or the NBA at ALL.

Out of the 16 fouls shown in this video montage, 3 of them clearly should have been fouls called on the defender (namely Tyson Chandler for bear hugging Dwight for several seconds), another 3 or 4 of them were terrible acting jobs by Bobcats (after they had gotten away with clear fouls on HOward usually) that were rewarded by the refs, a couple (like the "charge" when Howard spins to the basket without even lowering his shoulder or the "foul" when he raises his hand for the pass and the defender acts like he was knocked out) were just mind-boggling terrible calls by the refs, and then, after all that filth, a total of 7 were legit fouls where Dwight challenged a Bobcat player and commited a foul (though it wasn't even clear on all those if he didn't actually block the shot, though the ref sure acted like it was an obvious hack by Howard.)

Accurately and fairly, Dwight averaged 3-4 legit fouls a game in the series, and maybe just 2 in a couple of the games. The Bobcats gameplan was to act and flop their way to a whistle against Howard any time they could, and the officials played right into their hands.

The refs were USED, and it still didn't help the Bobcats. But it might help a better team. Then again, I think a Boston or an LA has a little too much pride to make their whole gameplan a gimmick acting job with the goal of getting one player out of the game. If real contenders want Dwight in foul trouble, they will drive to the hoop and put him in foul trouble, not flail themselves to the ground as a 6' 9" 250 lb SF (Gerald Wallace) like a ragdoll anytime you make contact with Dwight.

This video makes it actually more convincing that the refs or Stern truly does have some gripe with Howard. To see him picked on so obviously compared to his foul totals throughout the regular season is, in a word, comical...just like Howard blogged. It is just really strange to see him called for some of the things the refs got away with calling in that series.

derekk
derekk

In all honesty, it does go both ways, the refs are being horrible on Dwight, and I dont think theres any direct, real reason for it but Dwight is acting so immature towards them for so long, he needs to stop it indeed (still nothing unusual among many players and stars, but still). Imagine being a ref and having Dwight always b&tchin to you after every whistle (And the non-calls Dwight wanted). Otis does a good job of being pragmatic and talking to Dwight, telling him, as unfair as it is, it's on his shoulders to fix.

Billy (slickw143)
Billy (slickw143)

@LakersFan

The issue with most of the calls that people have stems from two things. First thing is consistency. We keep hearing about this fabled "playoff basketball" with "playoff fouls". Y'know, the whole let-em-play mantra. For some reason that doesn't apply to big men and Dwight in particular. Perfect example is the foul Noah was called for late in Game 5 against Cleveland.

Second aspect of all this is the fact that with a lot of the offensive fouls, Dwight is getting fouled first. The Charlotte big men were hooking his arm repeatedly and then either a.) pulling on the arm and flopping or b.) Dwight would push the defender off to get himself free. In the latter case, the defender would either flop or Dwight would legitimately push him in frustration.

Now, it's on Dwight to maintain his composure and not allow the frustration to result in these shoves. But honestly, can you blame him for being frustrated when people are constantly fouling him and don't get called for it, then he works to get them off him and he is called for that?

Mike
Mike

game 3 foul 1, dude totally not set and slides under him.

Mike
Mike

the 3rd may be worse haha

Mike
Mike

man that 2nd foul in game 2 is a JOKE.

LakersFan
LakersFan

I don't know what you guys are talking about, but watching this as a neutral party, a lot of these fouls are either legit, or they come within the flow of the game. It is up to the player to adjust to the way the refs are calling the game. Of course, refs are not perfect and there were a couple of questionable calls, but that comes with the territory. Hopefully, Dwight will learn and adjust and not complain about obvious calls so that refs will respect him more and give him the benefit of the doubt.

coque
coque

the nba clearly wanted to keep dwight out, so charlotte could atleast win one and extend the series. more REVENUE. :)

Eddy Rivera
Eddy Rivera

@derekk

I rather detach my opinion on the matter because honestly, I don't think there's a right answer I can provide. I will say that, for Howard, he absolutely needs to avoid committing fouls on offense. Given his responsibilities on defense, he's going to commit fouls on that end of the court. That's just the way it is. If Howard can cut out the offensive fouls, he'll be fine.

@matt

The refs don't suck. Far from it. They suffer from bias and inconsistency (as @Briannn astutely points out) sometimes but officials in the NBA are the best in the world compared to their peers internationally.

@Blacktigra

Some of the calls were bad, sure. But that's where Howard needs to adjust to what's being called on the floor. It's as simple as that.

@Billy (slickw143)

Thanks for providing me the inspiration to use the name!

@Kevin

In my opinion, it was the result of the opponent. The Charlotte Bobcats had big men that were willing to commit fouls and they did so.

@NC Magic Fan

No problem.

NC Magic Fan
NC Magic Fan

Thanks Eddy! After watching this I really think part of Larry Brown's strategy was to have his bigs stay close and hold onto Dwight until he push back. I am a homer, but at least 5 or 6 times Dwight was fouled before he retaliated but the refs were out of position to see what was happening. Smart play by Charlotte, but Dwight just cannot afford to make big arm moves to get away.

Kevin
Kevin

Seems like everyone else gets playoff "let 'em play" treatment, but for Howard the calls get even tighter. Hopefully this was a result of the opponent rather than a trend that will continue.

Briannn
Briannn

Watching this makes my head hurt. When is it "playoff basketball" and when is it not? Consistency across the league would be nice.

Billy (slickw143)
Billy (slickw143)

Foul-umentary!!! I've made the big-time! I'll have to watch this when I'm at a PC w/ sound.

Blacktigra
Blacktigra

Some of these fouls are Dwight's fault. But alot of them...most of them are bad calls. There was no reason Dwight should have spent that much time on the bench. As the DPOY he should get alot more respect then this.

matt
matt

I watched almost every minute of every game in the series and to me they called more then 3 or 4 bogus calls. They aren't labeling howard a wallace type of player, instead they're turning him into shaq from his early days. The refs asume every time he jumps that he is going to foul someone cause of his size. The problem they obviously havent watched anyof the alstar festivaties, the dude can out jump evevryone in the nba minus lebron! he gets hooked they call a foul on himn cause he's stronger then everyone else out there, he sets a screen the guy falls because he's stronger then everyone. I guess he should stop working out and make himself weaker so noone will fall down whemn he's near them! the refs suck!

derekk
derekk

I'd say 3 or 4 were complete BS. Id love to hear your thoughts on the legitimacy of these foul calls E.

The rest of the calls were just common sense, it's playoff defense, if the majority of those fouls are being called like that strict, then Dwight will play less and less minutes in later rounds. The other common sense is for Dwight to avoid PnR fouls and offensive fouls as much, tho I can understand him trying to "de-hook" himself from other centers and its BS nature of him getting the foul for it instead of the initiator.

Part of me believes refs will in some combination of the following; a) conduct home-cooking, which is not really debatable actually, b) will prolong a game without affecting the better team from winning, least believable to me c) may be starting to label Dwight a Rasheed type, which is somewhat unbelievable because I don't see how Dwight will be consistently in foul trouble in his playoff career; Because Dwight is too big a star player to deny playtime too, I think this will help him, and then for the later series this yr and on, that are difficult for Orlando, the refs wouldn't handicap Dwight so much, ex. I think Cavs could beat Orlando if the refs handicapped Dwight to 24-ish minutes again, when in reality, a Dwight playing 40-ish minutes means Orlando will likely handle the Cavs series easy instead.