After racking up a $35,000 fine yesterday for comments about officiating made on his blog, Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard's receiving advice, both personally and through the media, about how to avoid foul trouble. Eddy compiled video of all 16 fouls Howard tallied through Games 1 through 3 of the Magic's first-round series against the Charlotte Bobcats, which you can watch here.
Through a blogger q-and-a opportunity, I asked TNT analyst and former NBA head coach Mike Fratello how Howard can avoid picking up so many fouls, and how a coach manages a player who struggles to stay on the floor. Here's his response:
I'm sure that whatever could have been done or can be done, is being done because of Stan Van Gundy being the outstanding coach that he is. It's not like he's playing for somebody that doesn't pay attention to these things. Stan is a stickler and into detail. And, he's got a guy in Patrick Ewing alongside of him who's an assistant coach that has been in the trenches himself and understands this stuff. There was a time where Patrick was going through the same things and picking up too many fouls.
He's got to look at it and understand, and deal with the psychological approach as far as referees - what are they looking at? What are teams trying to do to him? Dwight is a bright person and he's got to make some adjustments to whatever he's doing that is putting these extra fouls on him. He's got to make some adjustments to avoid picking up those fouls because he's not on the court the number of minutes that he would like to be on, and he's not on the court the number of minutes that the Magic need him on the floor to be the dominant player that he is.
Charles Barkley also has advice, particularly about avoiding offensive fouls, which he outlines in this video. And George Diaz of the Orlando Sentinel offers his opinion here. Finally, here's Michael White's take.