NBA Could Suspend Dwight Howard for Game 5 of Western Conference Finals

By Vincent Frank

There aren’t many people out there who watched Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals and didn’t believe Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard didn’t deserve a flagrant 2 for laying a blow to Andrew Bogut’s face.

The reality of the situation, no matter your allegiance, is that what Howard did Sunday night was much more serious than the flagrant 2 that got Atlanta Hawks big man Al Horford ejected in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Sunday night.

Howard should have been ejected for this play. Unfortunately for those who believe there should be some type of consistency when it comes to flagrant fouls, he wasn’t. The All-Star center received a flagrant 1, and was allowed to remain in the game.

However, this might not be over.

NBA rules dictate that if a player accumulates four points from flagrant fouls during a postseason, he will be suspended for the next game. Howard had already received two points for prior incidents during the Rockets’ run to the conference finals. The league also reviews every single flagrant foul, and has the ability to upgrade a specific foul if it sees fit. As it relates to Howard’s situation, it’s possible the NBA could upgrade his flagrant, which would then give him four points in the playoffs—a result that would see him suspended for Houston’s Game 5 outing against the Warriors in Oakland.

This might be an unlikely scenario, but based on what happened with Horford in Atlanta, there’s a chance Howard may very well be suspended.

It doesn’t take a genius to realize that could have wide-ranging ramifications on the series.

Photo: USA Today Sports