Dwight Howard did not appear to be too happy when James Harden hit what ended up as the game-winning shot in Thursday’s playoff game against the Golden State Warriors.
But the Houston Rockets center has two words for anyone criticizing him: “Shut up.”
Howard actually had a little more to say, via Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.
“They’re known to hit crazy shots. I know last night, things were brought up about the bench not being happy about James hitting the shot,” Howard added. “I think all of us were happy. At the same time, we were more focused on ‘we can’t allow this team to get the ball again and shoot.’ Sometimes they play like Angels in the Outfield. They might catch it at halfcourt and hit a crazy shot. You just can’t celebrate in a situation like that.”
On the surface, this makes complete sense. Harden’s winner came with more than two seconds on the clock. Given that the Warriors had a time out and advanced the ball into the front court, they wouldn’t have even needed a particularly crazy shot to win the game.
Still, there is one big problem with these comments as they relate to Howard’s reaction.
While one can see an incredibly slight fist pump, Howard’s face looks like he was actually disappointed that the shot dropped. You’d expect eye-rolling from the Golden State bench, but it’s a little hard to figure out why anyone from Houston would be doing that. It’s one thing to be cautious knowing the opponent. It’s quite another to actually look upset.
At the very least, Mr. Howard needs to work on his bench reactions. Of course, he shouldn’t do that until he spends a few minutes practicing free throws.