Dwight Howard Suspended: Latest Details, Comments and Reaction

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 2, 2016

Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard (12) gestures to fans in the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
Brandon Dill/Associated Press

Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard has been suspended by the NBA and will miss Tuesday night's game against the Miami Heat.  

The NBA announced Howard's suspension Tuesday for striking the arm of an official for his fourth technical foul in the last two games, per Paul Garcia of Project Spurs.

Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle first reported the news.

Calvin Watkins of ESPN.com previously noted the Rockets petitioned the NBA with the hope the league would rescind the four recent technical calls against the 30-year-old veteran. Interim head coach J.B. Bickerstaff stated Saturday he believes Howard doesn't get enough protection from the officials:

They didn't protect Dwight. They allowed people to hit him, they allowed people to grab his neck, grab his arms, and hold his shoulders. He's going to get hurt, plain and simple. The reason why he has the back problems and knee problems is because people jump on his back and grab on his shoulders, these referees need to be held accountable for letting people attack Dwight and be that physical with him.

Feigen also reported Bickerstaff received a $10,000 fine for those comments. The defense of his player apparently didn't work, as the league is still moving forward with the one-game suspension for Howard.

The frontcourt stalwart previously received a one-game suspension during last year's playoffs for going over the limit for flagrant-foul points, which forced him to miss the 2015-16 season opener.

Howard is averaging 14.4 points, 11.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game for the Rockets this season while shooting 61 percent from the field. Though his offensive role has decreased slightly, he's still a key piece due to his rebounding and defensive prowess.

Josh Smith and Terrence Jones figure to see the biggest uptick in minutes with the team's starting center forced to the sideline. It's a solid backup duo that should limit the impact of the suspension. Slowing down Chris Bosh will be the top priority for Clint Capela and the Rockets frontcourt.

 

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