Dwight Howard picked up his league-leading 12th technical foul of the two minutes into Thursday's game against the Knicks. That was the Orlando Magic's 33rd game of the season, and Howard's 31st. Evan Dunlap of SB Nation's Orlando Pinstriped Post crunched the numbers, and determined that Howard averages a tech for every 91.3 minutes played.
That's pretty amazing, putting Howard on track for 32 technical fouls on the season, should he play his usual 3,000 minutes. The problem is that he won't get to play 3,000 minutes if he keeps racking up techs at this rate, because after No. 16 Howard will miss a game for every second T he picks up.
Chances are that Dwight will calm down a bit, and refs will become wary of handing Howard a suspension for minor infractions. Neither of those things would be the case if instead of Howard we were talking about the amazing Rasheed Wallace.
Dunlap points out that Sheed picked up his record-setting 41 technical fouls in 2000-01 in about 2,900 minutes, a pace of one T per every 71.7 minutes. That's incredible, and puts Howard's problem into perspective. Dwight has 12 techs 33 games in. Based on that 2000-01 season, Sheed would have had 17. Howard is picking up technicals to the point it's become a running joke among fans, as if it has become the expectation rather than the exception. And Sheed did it even more frequently!
Of course, if the current suspension rules applied to Sheed back in '01, he never would have gotten to 41, because he would have missed one out of every five games after about Christmas, based on his pace. Howard won't get there, but it has to be nerve-racking for Stan Van Gundy nonetheless.