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  1. #1
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    Howard's Ejection

    Predictably Howard's flagrant 2 and ejection is drawing a lot of attention today.

    What's surprising to me is that both Kobe and D'Antoni have thrown Howard under the bus instead of backing him up. Kobe said the foul/ejection was the right call, and D'Antoni said the team didn't lose much when Howard went out.

    Now, I know Kobe thinks of every other human being on the face of the earth as his *****. He doesn't think anyone else plays as hard as he does, or wants to win as much as he wants to win, and he hates them for that lack of will and determination.

    And I know D'Antoni is all about the offense, and about facilitating victories mostly by scoring. So if Dwight isn't doing whatever D'Antoni thinks he should be doing, then D'Antoni is going to be unhappy as well.

    But I think it's pretty easy to make a fairly compelling case for Howard being angry and frustrated, and on that basis I think selling him out to the public instead of backing him up as a teammate is actually a very selfish move on both Kobe's part and D'Antoni's part. My reasoning:

    1) Howard's back is still not right. Maybe it never will be, but he had major back surgery, he came back early, and he's producing. Maybe not the way people want him to, but he's out there. I don't think anyone thinks he's fully healthy, and in ways that can significantly affect his ability to play.

    2) Howard is expected to do all the dirty work on defense and to be the stopper for anybody who screws up a rotation on the perimeter. It's the same job people blame Pau for: not stopping someone at the rim when somebody else got burned in the first place. So he's the last line of defense, which often makes it seems as if he's not playing effective defense even if somebody else screwed up.

    3) Howard isn't the focus of the offense at all. If anything he's more of a distraction/decoy than a real offensive option. Whether that's warranted or not, it's certainly not what he's been used to, or what he expects to be in a year or two when most of the current Lakers are retired. He's not getting touches, and any player of his caliber would be frustrated by that.

    4) While he's not getting touches Howard has to co-exist on a team with Kobe -- a player who is allowed to give himself the green light any time he wants. Howard needs help to get touches; Kobe can jack up 41 shots in a game, shoot a rotten percentage, and yet everyone blames the refs instead of holding Kobe accountable. If you're a dominant player/scorer, that kind of inequity is going to drive you nuts. (So nuts that Shaq left and went to Miami just to get away from the guy.)

    5) I said in the game thread last night -- only minutes before Howard wiped out Faried -- that Howard needed to take someone down. Players have been driving on the Lakers with impunity because nobody on the perimeter seems to be able to stop anyone from attacking the rim. On top of that, Howard himself is getting hammered all the time, but often doesn't get the foul himself -- something that Shaq had to deal with most of his career. If the refs won't call a fair game just because you're big, you have to remind the refs of the alternative, and Howard did exactly that. He may have been frustrated, his back may have been hurting, but he needed to remind people that he should be afforded the same respect as smaller players when it comes to drawing fouls. And I think he did that.

    I don't know how this plays out going forward, but the way the team reacted is an extremely bad sign. Everybody's suddenly gone right back to playing the same role they've always played, and none of that helps the team. Howard is laughing one minute and sullen the next. Kobe is aloof and hostile and dismissive. D'Antoni is either being sarcastic or blunt, and now seems to be siding with Kobe against Howard.

    Bottom line for me: you do NOT sell your teammate out if they do something dumb. Whether you agree with it or not, you don't tell the press that the other player deserved what they got or were of no use to you anyway so it didn't matter if they fouled out. The fact that the star player and coach both did that when this is the guy that management has hitched their future to is a big, big problem going forward, and will probably only become more so if Howard decides well in advance of the end of the season that he doesn't want to be Kobe's ***** for the next year or two.

  2. #2
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    i he gonna get suspended for a game or two?

    it oculd be positive his back needs to rest.

  3. #3
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    I don't think he gets suspended. I mean, he already go thrown out of the game. It wasn't "that" excessive.

  4. #4
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    My thoughts when I heard that from Kobe and D'Antoni is they were just frustrated, feeling Howard bailed on his team when they still had a legitimate chance at winning the game. They were only down by 6 with like halfway in the 3rd. It was a stupid play by Howard, A definite Andrew Bynum type move.

    You are right though, it is drawing a lot of attention today. I hope he doesnt get suspended a game... I would really like to be over .500 by next week lol.
    #Chow!

  5. #5
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    There's another point that needs to be made about exactly when this foul took place:

    How it happened: After the Lakers kept things close in the first half, Denver exploded for a 39-point quarter in the third, with Corey Brewer (27 points) surprisingly being the one doing most of the damage.

    Misses: After putting up 28 points and 20 rebounds in the Lakers' last meeting with the Nuggets, Dwight Howard was a dud Wednesday. He finished with just 12 points and seven rebounds (and went just 4-for-9 from the free-throw line) before being ejected for picking up a flagrant-2 foul with 5:02 remaining in the third quarter after hitting Kenneth Faried in the face on a drive by the Nuggets' big man.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/los-angeles/...126-lakers-114
    At the 5:02 mark of the 3rd Quarter Denver had already scored 21 points coming out of the half. They would score another 18 after Howard was ejected, but consider what that 22-point barrage means in terms of the defense LA was playing. Whether Howard was on his game or not, it's not possible that he was the only player who was whiffing on defense. Giving up 22 points in 7 minutes is ridiculous, but again, everybody expects Howard to clean up everybody else's mistakes.

    If you're Dwight Howard, do you want to see player after player getting free access to the lane like that? What are you going to think about your teammates? Are you going to feel like they have your back, or are you going to feel like they're treating you like ****?

    The entire team gave up 39 points in the 3rd Quarter. That's not Howard's fault, that's the team's problem. And yet Howard is the one who's getting blame both for the bad defense and for getting tossed -- while nobody is talking about the complete collapse of the defense after resting at halftime.

    Again: LA basically gave up the same amount of points in the quarter after Howard went out that they gave up when he was in there. You can argue that that proves Howard was doing nothing, but I think it's actually a better argument that the entire team was faking their defensive effort. And yet if you're Dwight Howard, today you're the only guy being held accountable.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluefire7002 View Post
    My thoughts when I heard that from Kobe and D'Antoni is they were just frustrated, feeling Howard bailed on his team when they still had a legitimate chance at winning the game. They were only down by 6 with like halfway in the 3rd. It was a stupid play by Howard, A definite Andrew Bynum type move.

    You are right though, it is drawing a lot of attention today. I hope he doesnt get suspended a game... I would really like to be over .500 by next week lol.
    I'm sure both Kobe and D'Antoni did feel that they still had a chance to win the game. I'm with you on that 100%.

    But I don't think Kobe and D'Antoni were focused on defense as a means of attaining that goal, while at the same time they expected Howard to be their main defender. I've been on the record all season saying that LA needs to play team defense, but in the 3rd Quarter last night they completely folded.

    Nobody should be blaming anyone else for that loss last night, and yet we have the head coach and superstar blaming Howard -- and apparently getting away with it. That's a really bad sign for now, and a really bad sign for the Lakers' future.

  7. #7
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    Yeah, everyone seemed pretty upset after last nights loss. That locker room had some heat. Mike surprised me when he said that after the reporter had asked the question. I mean Kobe's answer was ehhh...He pretty much agreed that it was a flagrant 2. Look all I know is that Dwight needs more touches, Kobe has to stop trying to get 30 every night and more importantly we need DEFENSE. I also heard Dwight kinda talk crap about Mike D'Antoni saying something like you can't just tell guys what to do on Defense you have to show them and actually practice it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GailGoodrich View Post
    I'm sure both Kobe and D'Antoni did feel that they still had a chance to win the game. I'm with you on that 100%.

    But I don't think Kobe and D'Antoni were focused on defense as a means of attaining that goal, while at the same time they expected Howard to be their main defender. I've been on the record all season saying that LA needs to play team defense, but in the 3rd Quarter last night they completely folded.

    Nobody should be blaming anyone else for that loss last night, and yet we have the head coach and superstar blaming Howard -- and apparently getting away with it. That's a really bad sign for now, and a really bad sign for the Lakers' future.
    Totally agree.... I dont think ive seen any other team this season yell at each other soo much when they miss a defensive assignment. You saw it last night when Howard yelled at Nash because he didnt block out McGee, and you have seen it throughout the year. Howard looks frustrated.

    Only thing that really fixes this is winning. I hope they can get another good sized win streak going.
    #Chow!

  9. #9
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    What's disappointing is that everyone can see Howard decided to check out. I think that's what hurts as a Laker fan.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Purple&Gold24 View Post
    Yeah, everyone seemed pretty upset after last nights loss. That locker room had some heat. Mike surprised me when he said that after the reporter had asked the question. I mean Kobe's answer was ehhh...He pretty much agreed that it was a flagrant 2. Look all I know is that Dwight needs more touches, Kobe has to stop trying to get 30 every night and more importantly we need DEFENSE. I also heard Dwight kinda talk crap about Mike D'Antoni saying something like you can't just tell guys what to do on Defense you have to show them and actually practice it.
    Kobe tries to get 30+ when the other teams is dropping 30-40 pts a qtr on us. Dude has to do something to not have us get blownout by 15-20 pts by putting the ball in the whole.

  11. #11
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    There's nothing wrong with the offense or who is getting touches. It's all defense honestly.

  12. #12
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    I missed the game last night, but caught part of the rebroadcast in the 3rd quarter. I never saw the battle in the paint that led to Howard's face foul...so I don't know where it came from.

    In one way, I think it is good when a player lays out another player to send a message, but it cannot be stupid like how Bynum lost his cool against Dallas in the playoffs. Intimidation and fear is a lost art to today's NBA thanks to Stern, but I think the Lakers need to be that sort of team against certain opponents. Boston still plays with a chippy edge. It would be nice if the Lakers did too.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hellcrooner View Post
    i he gonna get suspended for a game or two?

    it oculd be positive his back needs to rest.
    I agree with KB-Pau that Howard shouldn't be suspended for more games going forward.

    I'll even go farther and say there's a chance that the call might be reduced to a Flagrant 1, in large part because Faried added a pretty good flop after he felt the contact.

    If the foul was reduced, that would also have the ancillary effect of making Kobe look like an idiot for proclaiming that the foul was a good call, which is yet another reason you don't sell your teammates down the river.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MintBerryCrunch View Post
    There's nothing wrong with the offense or who is getting touches. It's all defense honestly.
    Everything that's wrong with the Lakers right now comes from weak defense.

    Defense builds trust, frustrates the other team, and takes pressure off your offensive players. There is no way in hell that the Lakers are going to outscore and outrun other teams. We have to be able to hold them down, and right now very few of our players are committed to that cause.

    Allowing 39 points in a quarter is a crime. And yet nobody is talking about this today.

    I said recently that this forum (and Laker fans in general) are actually a lot like Mike D'Antoni. They pay almost no attention to defense and really do think all we need to do is score a ton of points.

    Until everyone on the floor is playing team defense we're going nowhere, no matter how many points we score.

  15. #15
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    I dont understand why people make excuses for other players playing bad. Howard is a superstar. He is not a superstar because of his offensive play, but because he dominates the defensive side of the ball. Im sick of people saying he needs more touches and Kobe shoots to much (By the way, shot almost at least 60% from everywhere on the court) The team needs to figure out balance. Howard needs to grow up and learn how to be a superstar in a major market. He needs to learn from Kobe what it takes to win in LA. He's not in the sticks anymore where laughing about missed ft's is looked at as cute and cool. He needs to turn it up. If he's still injured sit down and rest up, move Pau to center, and lets keep going.

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