Dwight Howard will be posting up from the bench for game 6

It was not surprising to a few and instead was shocking to most; Dwight Howard throwing what was obviously an intentional elbow in game 5 Tuesday night straight to the head of  Philadelphia 76ers forward Samuel Dalembert. Before the foul most Basketball fans characterized Howard as a fun-loving character on and off the court. After the foul he is still  the same character, just not on the court.

Dwight Howard is recognized by the league and his fans as a good player. He was awarded defensive player of the year this season and in doing so was the youngest player ever to be given this title. However when fans think of dwighthowardsupermandunk Howard,  they think of how hilarious it was when he won the slam dunk contest wearing a superman cape. Maybe they picture his  Adiddas ad where he dances his way through most the commercial to the Soulja Boy track. Those fans that are lucky enough to have heard a sound byte of his imitation of his coach Stan Van Gundy probably imagine that when he hear his name.  Simply put, in the past fans bought  Howard’s jersey in souvenir shops because he resembled  Chris Tucker in Rush Hour not because they thought of him as a dominant center in the NBA.

The question must be asked, has anything changed as a result of Howard intentionally knocking Dalembert in the head? The answer: yes! Before we jump right into why let me bring to your attention what has happened so far in the NBA playoffs regarding the issue or comments of flagrant/intentional fouls. First there was the Dallas and San Antonio series where before game three Erick Dampier vowed to put Tony Parker “on his back” with his first foul. Dampier made this comment because the prior game Tony Parker shredded the Mavericks defense and led the Spurs to a game two victory. What transpired was that the Mavericks held Parker and the Spurs in check for the next three games to close out the series. Was Parker intimidated, maybe or maybe not? However  Dampier’s comments did enough to fire up his team’s defense for them to beat Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and the rest of the Spurs for the first time in the first round of the NBA playoff’s since 2000.

Then on Tuesday night  Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo whacked Chicago Bulls’s forward Brad Miller in the head with two seconds remaining in the game while Miller was driving the ball to the hoop. A flagrant foul was not called, but a dazed and confused Miller missed two free throws that would have tied the game. The end result was a Chicago loss. Once again maybe Miller misses those free throws even if he could see straight, but the fact is he did not make them. This all points to the theory that  in physical sports the team that shows more muscle usually wins.

This brings us back to our discussion of who Dwight Howard is after his intentional foul. He is exactly the same smiling cartoon character that he was before except now when he is on the court you know he means business. He can be seen as an even greater force than he was before he showed his aggression. Due to his foul his team will show more passion and his opponents more fear.  For the Orlando Magic this is amazing news. Just imagine Dwight Howard playing as hard as Charles Barkley every night he is on the floor. You know Barkley made guards in his era think twice about driving the lane. To summarize my friend, I think a sleeping giant may have just woken up but he’ll be watching game six between the Magic and 76ers  from the bench.

Dwight Howard impersonating his coach Stan Van Gundy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOXjoq6zqCs

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