Thursday , Apr , 30 , 2009 Oly Sandor

Could Dwight Howard’s elbow end Orlando’s season?

Numbers and post-game tirades don’t illustrate Howard’s real value. On offense, the All-Star not only gets his share of put-back dunks and tips, but he spreads the floor for shooters Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu. On defense, the giant five-man rebounds, blocks and changes shots, and, most importantly, clogs the lane …

Could Dwight Howard's elbow end Orlando's season?Breaking NBA news mixed with analysis … 

Their News: Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard was assessed a one-game suspension by the NBA on Wednesday for his actions in the team’s 91-78 win over the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series. (The Canadian Press) 

Our Very Quick Take: Could Dwight Howard’s elbow end Orlando’s season?

On Wednesday, the league suspended Howard for game six of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against Philadelphia after he elbowed the 76ers’ Samuel Dalembert. The two posts were fighting for a rebound in the first quarter of game five.

And rookie shooting-guard Courtney Lee will also miss game six after taking an accidental Howard elbow to the head. Lee suffered a fractured sinus and broken orbital on the play.


(The intentional elbow.)

 

(The unintentional elbow.) 

The Magic, who lead the best of seven series 3-2, will try to win game six on the road without two key players.

But Howard’s suspension overshadowed Lee’s injury –and for good reason. The big man was Superman-like in game five, tallying 24 points, 24 rebounds, and leaving Philadelphia’s coaching staff to complain to reporters that he violates the three-second rule by camping out in the key.

Numbers and post-game tirades don’t show Howard’s true value. On offense, he not only gets his share of put-back dunks and tips, but spreads the floor for shooters Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu. Both Lewis and Turkoglu have struggled in the playoffs and need to step-up in Howard’s absence. On defense, the giant rebounds, blocks and changes shots, and, most importantly, clogs the lane with his presence.   

Of course, the All-Star five-man will return for game seven in Orlando. But if Philadelphia comes back to win the series, Howard’s elbow will take the blame.

Did Howard deserve to be suspended for elbowing Dalembert? What will Lee’s absence mean? Get at us in the comment box below and return to HoopsVibe the Blog for more NBA tidbits. Photo courtesy of D-Ho.