Howard, Like Everyone, Critical of Van Gundy

by May 13, 2009

by Marcel Mutoni

During the Orlando Magic’s incredible collapse in the fourth quarter last night, Stan Van Gundy made some horrifically bad decisions that had just about everyone scratching their heads. And “everyone” evidently included his franchise player, Dwight Howard.

Following the game, Howard let the press in on his frustrations with the man pacing up and down the Magic sideline.

The Orlando Sentinel grabbed the quotes:

“I would just say it’s tough to win all season when you play inside-out with people who got you off to a good season. I think I’m capable of scoring in the post,” Howard said after the Magic blew a 14-point fourth-quarter lead and lost 92-88. “I don’t’ want to say it’s all about offense. But when you have a dominant player, let him be dominant.”

Howard didn’t get a shot in the last six minutes. “I have to do it defensively where I have to be more aggressive and offensively I have to get the ball. I don’t think you are going to win a lot of games when your post player only gets 10 shots, he said. “It’s tough to get yourself going and get a lot of shots without a lot of touches. We have to do a better job with that.”

“The coaches have to recognize what’s working on the floor. Stick to it. Even if it’s half your starters on the floor. Not just the guys you have put the most trust in. You have to have trust in everybody,” Howard said. “We moved the ball, we ran, got easy shots, and our coach has to recognize when he was a certain group out there and they are getting the job done and we have to leave those guys on the floor. We are going to make mistakes, but I think you have to go with what works.”

Y’know, it’s probably not a good sign when a player – the team’s biggest star, no less – is calling out his coach this deep into the postseason.

Somewhere, Shaq is quietly chuckling to himself.