First it was hack-a-Shaq. Now it’s hack-a-Dwight (or Howard). Either way, the practice of fouling any player off the ball to gain an advantage with him on the free-throw line should not be rewarded. If I were Dwight Howard or the Lakers, I’d be taking my case right to David Stern.
Let me get this out of the way before I go any further. If you want to foul Dwight Howard every time he takes a shot or even has the ball, that’s fine by me. Those, at least, look like normal fouls and come within the flow of the game.
If you want to just go grab his jersey, give him a hug, or wrap him up while he’s walking down the court just because the Lakers are in the bonus, you should be called for an intentional foul, because that’s exactly what you’re doing; Fouling a player intentionally.
If those stupid plays were deemed intentional fouls, Dwight would get his shots and then the Lakers would get the ball after he was done shooting.
Also, this applies to every team who employs this strategy against a bad free-throw shooter.
I don’t see how intentionally fouling a player away from the ball isn’t already deemed intentional, but things got way to out of hand in LA last night with Orlando Magic players grabbing Dwight almost every time the Lakers entered the bonus.
These rules probably won’t be changed, but if you look at it with an open mind, you’d see how crazy it is that these off-ball fouls aren’t already being called intentional every time they happen.