Looking at Dwight Howard’s second injury-inducing foul in 29 days against Derrick Rose, I don’t think there is any chance the Orlando big man will be fined or suspended.
But both of those fouls are essentially the same. Howard never tried to block Rose’s shot on either play, though in the Feb. 10 game, Howard did take a swipe in a failed effort to keep Rose from getting a shot off after the collision.
The two plays in question were definitely, “I’m going to knock you on your butt to show I’m a bad man” fouls. Both times, Howard claimed he had no intention of injuring Rose, which may be true. But he had every intention of drilling Rose in mid-air.
Following both games, Howard bragged about his success as a road block.
“I think if you hit something that doesn't move, you usually end up falling,” he chuckled after Thursday’s game.
Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy joined the chorus.
“He (Rose) is going full speed, and he's hitting basically an immovable object,” Van Gundy said.
What bugs me about Howard is he’s always whining about those slap-on-the-wrist fouls he gets, which would have ended long ago if he’d learned to make a free throw.
So a hack on the wrist to send a bad free-throw shooter to the line is an egregious offense. But if Rose gets knocked to the floor on a drive to the basket, that’s just weak flesh hitting powerful steel. Yeah, whatever.
Hard fouls are part of the NBA game, but violent mid-air collisions, whether it’s Derrick Rose or Othyus Jeffers on the receiving end, need to stop.
Howard claimed he even offered Rose some advice on how not to get injured by guys like Howard in the future. It’s known as the “two-foot rule.”
“I always tell him, ‘If you come down the lane, always come off two feet,’” he said. “That way you'll be on balance. You come off one (foot), all it takes is for somebody's body to hit you and you're going to fall.”
If you’re 7-feet tall, standing under the basket and plan to go up for a two-hand dunk, then jumping off two feet makes terrific sense. But most athletic drives to the basket don’t call for a two-foot takeoff.
So basically Howard is telling Rose never drive to the basket again and he’ll stay injury-free. Great advice, Dwight.