Normally when a player rejects a shot attempt so violently that the ball ends up in the stands, it isn’t the soundest of defensive basketball plays.
Sure, that particular shot was defended, but knocking it out of bounds gives the team an extra possession, which basically just hits the reset button for the defense.
Ideally, you want your team’s big men to block a shot and keep it in play by tapping it to a teammate, or at the very least allowing the possession to continue as the shot clock continues to wind down.
It is acceptable, however, to swat a shot like this in two instances: In an early part of a game as a form of intimidation, or late when the final outcome has essentially been decided. This one falls into the latter category, with Memphis up by 10 over Atlanta with just over two and a half minutes remaining, so sit back and enjoy James Johnson spiking this shot from Jeff Teague a few rows deep into the stands.
Dwight Howard played through torn MCL and meniscus in playoffs
Dwight Howard hasn’t exactly been healthy in recent years. He missed half of last season with various injuries, including a two-month stretch from January to March after undergoing a knee procedure. On Thursday, he told a Houston radio station that the knee problems continued after that, and he had torn ligaments and cartilage during the Rockets’ Western Conference Finals series against the Warriors:
Dwight Howard just told us on Texans Radio that he played through a torn MCL and meniscus during the WCF vs the Warriors
It’s a little alarming that we didn’t hear about this until now. Sometimes these injuries can heal without surgery, but Howard can become a free agent next summer, so you would think he would want to get any lingering issues addressed ahead of time. Considering his age (he’ll be 30 in December) and his injury history, this isn’t a great sign. A healthy Howard is the difference between the Rockets being a legitimate title contender and an als0-ran, so hopefully these problems are behind him and he can stay healthy this season.
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