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Philadelphia 76ers center Dwight Howard has made the most out of his minutes this season. Despite playing a career-low 17.4 minutes per game, Howard is having the most productive rebounding season of his career, and he's leading the league in rebounds on a per-minute basis. The glass isn't the only area where Howard has been productive, though. He's also been prolific when it comes to picking up technical fouls. Howard currently leads the NBA with 15 technical fouls called against him on the season -- one away from a $5,000 fine and an automatic one-game suspension. 

While some of Howard's techs have been well-deserved, others have been a bit more borderline, including the one he got against the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday for what Howard described as "clapping." Since he's been on the receiving end of what he views as questionable calls, Howard feels like his reputation may be proceeding him when it comes to the in-game officiating. 

"I do feel like I'm being targeted every night," Howard said after Philadelphia's 121-90 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday night. "I have felt like I've been targeted, but I am just going to continue to play as hard as I can, I want the Philly fans to know that I am out there giving 130 percent every night. The calls might not go my way, I might seem a little frustrated, but I am out there to help this team win a championship."

Howard might not agree with all of the calls that have gone against him this season, but he does acknowledge that he needs to do a better job of controlling himself moving forward as the Sixers look to make a deep playoff push. 

"Sometimes the refs do give me some calls that I feel are unwarranted," Howard said. "Even the [technical foul] last game, I got a tech and I just clapped. So you know some things seem kind of crazy, but I have to realize my position on this team and what I have to do to help this team win. I have to make sure that I hold myself accountable to do the right things. So I've got to do a better job of that, but a lot of my techs have been just really quick and when I'm on the court, I'm passionate, I want to win."

Howard plays a physical brand of basketball, which is likely made easier by his sheer size -- sometimes it looks like guys bounce off of him and he doesn't even notice the contact. Plus, in fairness to Howard, the league was undeniably more physical in his heyday, and it has consistently inched away from that physicality over the past decade. Old habits die hard, as they say. 

"I come from old-school basketball so I like to talk trash, I like to hit people, I like to push people, hands down," Howard said. "It's not like I'm doing it to be malicious, but it's how I play, it's Philly basketball so I can't help it."  

Philly fans surely appreciate Howard's passion, and the Sixers benefit from his on-court energy, but there's a balance that Howard has to strike. He can continue to be Philadelphia's Energizer Bunny while also controlling himself around referees and not vehemently reacting to calls that he doesn't particularly agree with. Aside from the technicals, Howard has been an excellent addition for the Sixers this season, as he has provided the team with a reliable and productive backup to All-Star center Joel Embiid. As long as he can keep his emotion in check, he will continue to be very valuable for Philadelphia.