As Henry Abbott reported yesterday, the NBA is taking a tougher stand against its players complaining to game officials, and has broadened the guidelines for calling technical fouls. Now, "making aggressive gestures;" "demonstrative disagreement, such as when a player incredulously raises his hands;" "running directly at an official;" "say[ing] things like, 'Come on!;" and more actions are grounds for getting t'd-up.
Should the referees uphold these rules, expect far more technicals to get called, which can only have negative consequences for the Orlando Magic.
Upon receiving his 15th technical foul of the season, a player receives a one-game suspension. Every two technicals after the 15th results in another one-game suspension. Magic center Dwight Howard, by far the team's best player and key to its success, picked up 17 tecnicals last season, according to ESPN's leaderboard. That figure does not adjust for the three the league rescinded, so Howard didn't have to miss a game due to technicals after all. But one more misstep could have cost him, and the team, dearly.
The rule change doesn't threaten any other Magic player; the next-closest Orlando player to Howard, J.J. Redick, only received four technicals last season.