In light of Dwight Howard's 18th technical foul of the season, and therefore his second suspension, one is forced to realize that the new rules regarding techs may have a significant effect on the 2011 NBA playoffs.
This is the case because, prior to the regular season, the NBA increased the scope of actions which would be penalized by technical fouls.
Now included are what the AP refers to as punching the air, waving off an official as a sign of disrespect, running up to an official from across the court, waving arms in disbelief or jumping up and down in disbelief and clapping sarcastically at an official.
Additionally, ESPN describes a punishable action as one where the player makes aggressive gestures, such as air-punches, anywhere on the court, where he shows demonstrative disagreement, such as when a player incredulously raises his hands, or smacks his own arm to demonstrate how he was fouled, when one runs directly at an official to complain about a call or when excessive inquiries about a call are made, even in a civilized tone.
So despite the fact that the slate will be wiped clean for all of the players at the end of the season, and that they will need seven playoff technicals to be suspended, the increasing frequency of these calls could still cause a lot of problems.