Collins’ comments get attention of Van Gundy, Howard

Stan Van Gundy has given referees, league an earful about Dwight Howard getting hit.

Stan Van Gundy has given referees, league an earful about Dwight Howard getting hit.

ORLANDO — Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy got into trouble last month for comparing NBA commissioner David Stern to a world dictator, so he’s trying to bite his tongue these days. But it’s clear Van Gundy and Dwight Howard are not happy with the tactics the Hawks are employing against the Magic’s center in their playoff series, which resumes tonight.

When asked Tuesday about the Hawks’ physical play against Howard, Van Gundy specifically referenced remarks made by Jason Collins in my column Monday (Tuesday’s print editions).

“Jason Collins basically had a quote in the paper that said Dwight’s gotta know every time he goes into the lane we’re going to hit him — so it’s not like it’s a secret strategy,” Van Gundy said. “It’s everybody’s strategy. Jason Collins is just one of the few guys to come out and admit it.”

Orlando wasn’t happy when Howard was called for both a foul and a technical foul for pulling down Zaza Pachulia in the third in game one in seeming retaliation for something Pachulia had done. The Magic spoke to the league about the technical call but could not get it rescinded.

“I just keep getting hit. [But I] don’t hit back,” Howard said after Orlando’s shoot-around Tuesday.

“It happens. Just play through it. I’m tough enough.”

Asked specifically about the Pachulia play, Howard said: “It’s the same play that happens at the other end [and doesn't get called.].”

Notice a theme developing?

Van Gundy already has been fined once this season for criticizing game officials ($35,000 in January). He drew more heat from Stern in March when he defended Howard after his player picked up 16th technical foul, drawing an automatic suspension.

“This is the system David Stern and his minions like,” Van Gundy said last month. “So that’s the system you have. I certainly can’t have an opinion because David Stern, like a lot of leaders we’ve seen in this world lately, don’t really tolerate other people’s opinion or free speech or anything. So I’m not really allowed to have an opinion So it’s up to him.”

Asked Tuesday of Howard’s foul in game one, Van Gundy said: “The league said it was [a technical]. Dwight shouldn’t hit people.”

When asked a followup question, he said again: “You’ll have to talk to the league on that. I just know Dwight’s not supposed to hit people.”

It would appear he has been muzzled.

Should be fun tonight.

By Jeff Schultz

Last few Hawks blogs

Hawks’ Collins ready for game 2 (round 2?) against Howard

Van Gundy: Hawks’ Hinrich deal better than Carmelo trade

Playoff win shows Hawks haven’t quit on Larry Drew

Hawks surprise us again — this time by stunning Magic

Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC; friend me at Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC

57 comments Add your comment

Kaye

April 19th, 2011
1:59 pm

Kaye

April 19th, 2011
2:00 pm

Hawks Madness!!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTY074F6Oio Send to every Hawks fan you know!!!

Kaye

April 19th, 2011
2:01 pm

On a serious note…I think the Hawks win tonight, albeit a much closer/tougher game. Orlando will make adjustments but it won’t be quite enough.

Kaye

April 19th, 2011
2:01 pm

Love how I keep hearing that the Hawks are FOCUSED!!!!!!! Something we have been missing lately!

MJC

April 19th, 2011
2:11 pm

I want to see the Hawks play with the same intensity tonight!

LEA

April 19th, 2011
2:13 pm

he doesn’t hit back ? what does he call head butting jason lol.. DWight is a pansy

Eric

April 19th, 2011
2:14 pm

I love my hometown Hawks no matter how frustrating they are to watch. I have tons of respect for Howard though. He’s so unstoppable, we can’t do anything but foul and hold him. The same thing happened to Shaq when he was dominant. Nothing the Hawks did look like it was intended to injure or anything. They were all just regular fouls meant to stop him from dunking on us. That tech was about a 50/50 call in my opinion. It was certainly a foul, but didn’t appear to be intentional (or at least THAT intentional). I’m worried about tonight though. Those Magic are [peeved]!

Chris

April 19th, 2011
2:15 pm

If the Hawks win tonight this series is all but over. We would have taken the home court advantage completely away from the Magic. I felt like on paper this was the best of all the first round matchups. It sure is building to that both on and off the court.

BenMarko

April 19th, 2011
2:17 pm

Hit him Collins!! Howard can’t control his emotions.

SWAT Native

April 19th, 2011
2:20 pm

Believe me, Howard dishes out a lot more than he takes. If they called the rulebook, half his game would go away.

honest_abe

April 19th, 2011
2:22 pm

it’s a good sign for the hawks when both dwight and svg are playing to the media about the supposed unfair officiating. last year they were too busy being up by a 100 points to even care.

otis smith slightly ahead of danny ainge as “worst executive of the year”!

it’s well known that vince carter almost always had big games against the hawks. rashard lewis was a bad matchup for horford and pulled the hawks best rebounder onto the perimeter. marcin gortat ensured that the magic would always have a size advantage over the hawks. yet smith got rid of exactly the right players in order for the hawks to have a chance in this series. sweet.

the only question is will dwight get 50 and 25 tonight? heh

honest_abe

April 19th, 2011
2:23 pm

i love the optimism so far. but let’s be realistic. these same hawks are capable of being down 20 by half and losing by 30. whenever you get blown out by washington at home regardless of the situation it’s kind of hard to take you seriously.

SWAT Native

April 19th, 2011
2:25 pm

The real audience for these comments is the refs. Last year, when Phil Jackson made some comments before playing OKC, Stern said that maybe he ought to stop fining coaches and start suspending them. Why not start now?

Jeff Schultz

April 19th, 2011
2:25 pm

Lea — Hah. Good point. Maybe head butts don’t count.

Jeff Schultz

April 19th, 2011
2:26 pm

Swat Native — He does have a rep for complaining, that’s for sure.

DawginLex

April 19th, 2011
2:29 pm

96-74 Orlando tonight

Howard gets 38

Ted M

April 19th, 2011
2:31 pm

Sounds like it will be really easy to get under Howard’s skin tonight. The Hawks should have them intentionally foul Howard early.

Stinger2

April 19th, 2011
2:38 pm

A lot of folks believe that all the trash talk off the court with the media has a great impact on firing up a player or team for the next game. I believe that the greatest stimulus is the readiness and mindset
of the coaches and players at tipoff. The pre-game hype and all that suff goes out the window and the team that plays the hardest usually wins.

dawg day afternoon

April 19th, 2011
2:42 pm

Prediction: Dwight and Van Gundy get ejected.

Kaye

April 19th, 2011
2:43 pm

Dwight get’s two tech’s–goes out in the third Quarter….then he get’s suspended for Game 3. Series WRAP!

Steve

April 19th, 2011
2:44 pm

If I’m Dwight, I attack the basket even more forcefully…after this exchange, I don’t see any scenario where the refs don’t side with Howard.

Zing

April 19th, 2011
2:45 pm

I used to really hope that the Hawks would snag Howard when he becomes a free agent– recently, though, his snotty little attitude has soured me on him. He complains and whines about every single foul or play that goes against him–even the ones that are obviously right. Remember that goal-tending play from game one? He TOUCHED THE BALL. How can you not know that you touched the ball? His reaction? Same throw-hands-up-can’t-believe-the-ineptitude BS. He’s like the boy who cries wolf; maybe that’s why he doesn’t get the borderline calls–the refs know he’s full of crap.

dawg day afternoon

April 19th, 2011
2:51 pm

Zing, are talking about Dwight or Josh Smith?

J.J.M.

April 19th, 2011
2:51 pm

lol how can howard complain nd he had like 8 and ones

Brock

April 19th, 2011
2:52 pm

I was going to write a long post on how Howard seems to have changed from being a tough ballplayer that I use to admire to what he is now, however, I think this sums it up.

Dwight Howard=Crybaby. Shut up and play the game!

banshee29

April 19th, 2011
2:56 pm

On offense, you cannot displace a defensive player. Howard does this literally on every possession. His game is what brough the quality of the leauge down. In the Nique, Bird, Jordan era, it was athleticicsm that won games. Now it os brute size and strength, oh and leauge revenues. Hawks win tonight? I just don’t think it would be possible. We all know it will be Kobe and South Beach in finals. Mark my words

jedd

April 19th, 2011
2:58 pm

I am not convinced the Hawks can put 2 games back to back….Orlando will win by 15 or more tonight. I am not a fan of Orlando…..no faith in the Hawks.

mountain_jim

April 19th, 2011
3:01 pm

I saw Howard back into and over our players who had position numerous times, it never gets called. He had 5 offensive fouls before halftime, if the rules were enforced.

Patrick

April 19th, 2011
3:03 pm

Zing speaks the truth. Dwight Howard is like a friendly Rasheed Wallace.

PMC

April 19th, 2011
3:07 pm

Losers always whine about physical play. Get a freaking life Orlando…

Shaq went through hack a Shaq and won titles.

These guys are whining like babies.

GT Alum

April 19th, 2011
3:25 pm

Say what you want, but SVG’s comments about Stern are dead on. He’s a petty little tyrant.

GT Alum

April 19th, 2011
3:27 pm

Shaq also dropped his shoulder and barreled through defenders on almost every offensive move he made, and didn’t get called a large majority of the time. And Shaq and the Lakers also whined about hack-a-Shaq.

Casual Observer

April 19th, 2011
3:57 pm

Die Hard Hawks Fan here –

No prob with DH whining. Heyal every great player whined that he was getting fouled. He DOES get fouled. His problem is as long as its not blatantly intentional and he cant make the foul shot, fouling him is the best recourse 99% of the time. Until the refs start calling intentionals and/or he shoots 70-80% from the line, GET OVER IT.
Regardless, I’d take him in a heartbeat on my team. But as it stands now he’s the enemy and he can kick rocks. Orlando down in 6.

Astro Joe

April 19th, 2011
4:07 pm

I have a feeling that Collins didn’t get this much attention when he was in The Finals with the Nets a few years ago. I can’t believe that this guy is being treated like the second coming of Alonzo Mourning or Ben Wallace. It seems like his contract next year is being negotiated by the local media… dude won’t accept a vet’s minimum salary when he single-handedly shuts Dwight down by only allowing him to score 46 points.

Michael

April 19th, 2011
4:13 pm

Exactly, if he shot 80% from the line like a pro, he wouldn’t get fouled any more. He should work on that part of his game and quit whining. And big guys like DH and Shaq get away with so many offensive fouls it’s not even funny.

hind tit

April 19th, 2011
4:19 pm

What do they expect the hawks to do give the other teams best player a bye. That’s what basketball is all about stop the opposing teams best player just short of a mugging

Beast from the East

April 19th, 2011
4:26 pm

For as big and strong as he is he sure whines like a baby. He’s got to be the biggest whiner in the league today. Hit him hard, hit him ealry and hit him all night. He can take it physically but not where it counts…..between the ears.

jetfuel

April 19th, 2011
4:28 pm

DH needs to stop whining. Series will be even 1-1 after tonight. Hawks win both at home and have to win one more on the road…

Hankie Aron

April 19th, 2011
4:35 pm

JS- Must feel like a feather in your cap to get SVG talking about your column, right?

JB

April 19th, 2011
4:36 pm

DH fouled out like twice in that game, so for him to be complaining about fouls NOT being called is beyond comical.

Hankie Aron

April 19th, 2011
4:36 pm

I’ll never forget Dwight Howard’s impression of Stan when he is yelling at Dwight.. “Dwight, your’e killing me!” Good stuff. Anyway, I think Orlando has their way with the Hawks tonight.

BBIB

April 19th, 2011
4:38 pm

Maybe Collins is in his head. Kudos to Twin for playing hurt first of all and for showing he’s not afraid

We have nothing to lose by talking trash. Dwight Howard can’t play any better than he did on Saturday.

NCBravesFan

April 19th, 2011
4:45 pm

Jeff: I think since SVG & DH read your column, they should add The Tuesday Countdown to their mix. Might help them take the edge off a little.

doggoneit

April 19th, 2011
5:37 pm

Its amazing how much Stan Van Gundy looks like Ron Jeremy!

woody

April 19th, 2011
5:39 pm

can’t complain about getting hit when you play a power game.

Danny O

April 19th, 2011
5:44 pm

Any sightings of the Count?

jay

April 19th, 2011
5:44 pm

Lol, so your game is based on low post power and you want people not to be physical. Give me a break Orlando.

Booo!

April 19th, 2011
5:51 pm

I remeber a few years back when the Heat had shaq, Elden Cambell of the pistons told the media (who were wondering why he was so effective against O’neal) that he tried to foul Shaq everytime he got the ball……well the next game he got the whistle evertime shaq touched the ball lol. If I were collins, I wouldn’t speak on it too much.

Free The Teague!

jay

April 19th, 2011
5:58 pm

why not tell the media? He said nothing before the last game and had 2 foul in about 5 minutes. Plus its not like DH is gonna get pumped and have a better game. If anything he shot his free throws really well so I see his game being more so in the high 20’s with less rb’s and the same amount of turnovers. My guess is we are going to attack the basket more to get him in foul trouble. If we can get him off the floor Orlando is toast.

LakeDawg

April 19th, 2011
6:21 pm

Funny, but every time I watch Howard play, he is the aggressor. He uses his body like an offensive tackle and gets very few calls against him on the offensive end. The only strategy against that is to have several defenders use up their foul allotment against him and make him earn them on the free throw line, because they will not call an offensive foul against him. I beleive Gundy doth protest too much.