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NBA Playoffs: Celtics Magic: Dwight Howard dares to push back, Boston fans incensed

May 28, 2010, 1:28 PM EST

Howard_Pierce.jpgUPDATE 1:28 pm: Magic coach Stan Van Gundy agrees with us. Of course he does, he’s a smart man. These were his comments today at shootaround, as reported by the Orlando Sentinel.

“You know, it’s so funny the way things go, because we went down 0-3
and a lot of you guys were calling us ‘soft’ and everything else. Now
we’re like ‘bullies.’ So, I don’t know what we are. You guys change from
day to day….

“Look, the Celtics are far more physical than we are.
I mean, they push, shove, hit. They’ve been going after Dwight all
year. They always do. It’s part of their game plan, OK? And they always
do. I’m not saying dirty at all. That’s the way Kendrick Perkins plays
him: hit him, hit him, hit him. They’re a very physical team, and I
respect that. I’m not saying that as a negative at all. But all of the
sudden, what, they’re the ‘poor, picked-upon Boston Celtics, who are a
finesse team and don’t hit?’ Come on.”

11:38 pm: For three seasons now, the Boston Celtics have been a team that tries to intimidate. They are physical. Kevin Garnett gets in your face and claps and barks. Kendrick Perkins pushes people around in the paint. As a team they hook and hold and grab and clutch.

Dwight Howard has pushed back this series. Hard. And the Celtics fans don’t like that one bit.

Take Ron Borges column in the Boston Herald calling for Dwight Howard to be put in his place.

Far be it from me to advocate gratuitous violence, but in the case of the Magic’s elbow-swinging cheap-shot artist, two words come to mind: Why not?

Playing hard, banging bodies, pushing and shoving to gain position are all well and good. In those cases, Howard is just establishing himself in the post in the way it’s done these days.

It’s quite another thing indeed to “accidentally” flatten Pierce in consecutive games, to “accidentally” leave Davis staggering around Amway Arena like a guy who just was drilled by a Mike Tyson combination, and to “accidentally” level Rajon Rondo [stats] when he drives with everything but an ax handle.

My mom is a wise woman, and one of her favorite phrases — don’t dish it out if you can’t take it.

Dwight Howard has pushed back. Howard has been physical but things like the play to Davis were incidental. He gets in and mixes it up and sometimes people get hurt. This is not some no-contact, fifth-grade YMCA game, this is the Eastern Conference Finals. This is a physical series, stop whining and go play. Fans — act like men ad expect your team to do the same. Don’t bring up the vision of Kevin McHale clotheslining Kurt Rambis if you can’t take it, too.

The Celtics have been physical and knocking teams around as much as they could for years. If they want to win this series — and they had better do that tonight — they need to forget about petty justice and play like men. Take the physical play, hold their ground and get those loose balls. Because you know Dwight Howard and the Magic will.

  1. chad - May 28, 2010 at 6:52 PM

    Holding your elbows up high is a foul? in what game? A girls junior high game? Nothing wrong with the play Davis got crushed on except the fact that if Robinson didn’t get called for a foul and everyone keeps calling it a block? Didn’t you see the play? The replay? I’m sure you could look at it on youtube and see that sweet block of the forearm Robinson had…

  2. Joe - May 28, 2010 at 7:00 PM

    I’m with Sparklemahn, these comments are a riot. To hear some of these people tell it nobody’s ever before thrown an elbow in the history of the NBA. And what makes it even better is you just know that Howard would go from villain to hero in an instant if he became a Celtic, at which time the complaints would instantly become that people were beating up on him and he was just defending himself.
    But, assuming they survive this series, it will give Celtic fans practice so they can complain about the Lakers as they get drilled in the Finals.

  3. Foul Dwimmerlaik - May 28, 2010 at 7:10 PM

    If you don’t want to get hurt, go play chess. Not unless you’re cerebrally-challenged, your head won’t even hurt. The thing is, both teams are physical. I respect both teams’ physical plays. The problem is Howard dishes the stronger crap and looks like he is less affected of what the C’s dishes out to him. I guess there is some truth to this rumor that he is indeed Superman. LOL!

  4. Foul Dwimmerlaik - May 28, 2010 at 7:17 PM

    Well put. As much as I want to see a Laker-Celtics Finals, the C’s should learn to take what they give. Chess, anyone?

  5. WIZARD OF OZOLA - May 28, 2010 at 7:40 PM

    CELTIC FANS , REMEMBER WHEN NY KNICK WILLIS REED BEAT ALL YOUR PUNK-ASS PLAYERS IN THE 70 AND 73 PLAYOFFS ALL BY HIMSELF ? TOO BAD WILT NEVER GOT REALLY MAD AND KICK THE HELL OUT OF YOUR WHOLE TEAM WITH THAT SKINNY RABBIT RUSSELL FOR TARGET PRACTICE. SHEEN A PUSSY, NEVER WOULD TOUCH HOWARD WITH A 10 FOOT STICK. MAYBE HE COULD BORROW A HOCKEY STICK FROM YOUR MASTER CHOKE ARTISTS THE BOSTON BROOMS.MATT BARNES CAN KICK THE CRAP OUT OF ANY ONE ONE YOUR TEAM.HELL THE ONLY GUY WITH BACKBONE ON THE BENCH IS THE COACH. NATE ROBINSON GOT SHIPPED OUT OF NY FOR HIS FIGHT LAST YEAR, HE WENT FROM A SIXTH MAN TO THE MOPMAN IN GREEN. I HOPE HOWARD DRILLS 15 STRAIGHT FREE THROWS TO SEAL THE GAME AND SENT IT BACK TO ORLANDO. CHOKE ON YOUR POPCORN !!

  6. Anonymous - May 28, 2010 at 7:46 PM

    So holding your elbows up isn’t foul (regardless of whether you use them on players head. Then why last year was the hit5 to the balls a foul? He was just holding his elbows up.
    Tonight, I hope Rondo holds his elbows up, should be about Dwight Cowards groin height.

  7. enigman - May 28, 2010 at 7:49 PM

    gawd, what a bunch of D-bags…there’s a big difference between hard, tough basketball and dirty play…both “Dirty” Dwight and Matt Barnes have been throwing elbows all series (Barnes elbowed Garnett into his own coach!)….I can just hear Johnny Most calling them McFilthy and McNasty…what has been REALLY sad is the atrocious refereeing – if they had been doing their jobs Howard would have been suspended already for multiple flagrant fouls…

  8. Lakers Fan - May 28, 2010 at 7:53 PM

    Danny Ainge is rubbing off again…The Celtics are a bunch of babies…….cry cry cry…..Bring ‘em on baby….

  9. Magic Fan - May 29, 2010 at 1:48 AM

    Wow funny how you guys are making such a big deal out of a play that was clearly inadvertent.What about when Tim Duncan’s elbow gashed Steve Nash’s eye or when Steve Nash got clocked in the nose against the Lakers. You don’t see him or the fans whining about the other players’ doing it on purpose. It’s called playing the game and being aggressive with the ball people! The players are going to get banged up in the process especially when they are in motion! I’m just glad Davis is ok, but let’s not make this out like he was a victim. He knows that could happen in any game whether it’s against Howard or a little point guard.

  10. BostonianAHole - May 29, 2010 at 5:57 PM

    Magic Fan- I had ur mom in motion last night and she got banged (up) after the game, she was very aggressive with the ball(s), Great game that sent your cheap whinny Dwhimp Coward back home to cry, obviously your little girls team cant play with real men and win without being cheap and dirty players!

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