Blog Entry

Dwight Howard wins Defensive Player of the Year

Posted on: April 18, 2011 1:50 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 2:01 pm
Posted by Royce Young

When his career is all said and done, the Defensive Player of the Year trophy might need to be renamed the Dwight Howard Trophy. Because it's hard to see him not winning this award every year for the next 10 years.

Howard added his third consecutive Defensive Player of the Year to his trophy case, becoming the first player ever to do that. Only Dikembe Mutombo and Ben Wallace (four each) have won the award more times than Howard.

Howardf led the league with 66 double-doubles, including six 20-point/20-rebound efforts, while ranking second in rebounds (14.1 rpg) and fourth in blocks (2.38 bpg). With Howard manning the middle, the Magic allowed 93.5 ppg, ranking fourth in that category. A couple milestones noted in the release announcing the award:
  • On March 1 vs. New York, Howard, at 25 years and 83 days old, became the youngest player in NBA history to amass 7,000 career rebounds, passing Wilt Chamberlain, who was 26 years and 128 days old when he passed the 7,000-rebound plateau.
  • He recorded at least 1,000 rebounds and 100 blocked shots for the sixth straight year; since blocked shots were officially tracked in 1973-74, only Moses Malone has done it more (seven seasons).
  • He became one of only five players in NBA history since blocked shots became an official statistic in 1973-74 to record at least 6,000 rebounds and 1,000 blocked shots in his first 500 games.
Stats though don't come close to telling the entire Howard defensive story. He completely changes every game with his presence alone. Watching guards take hard detours out of the lane on a drive or try and float a shot over his outstretched arm tells you more about how he impacts the game. The NBA doesn't keep an official stat on altered shots, but I'm guessing it's somewhere in the millions with Howard. At least it feels that way.

Howard wasn't a unanimous winner, gathering 114 of 120 first-place votes. (Chuck Hayes got two and Keith Bogans, Joakim Noah Kevin Garnett and Grant Hill all getting one). The top five were Howard, Garnett, Tyson Chandler, Tony Allen and Rajon Rondo.
Category: NBA

Since: Sep 1, 2009
Posted on: April 19, 2011 5:09 pm

Dwight Howard wins Defensive Player of the Year

Howard's a terrific defender, but this business of being the youngest player ever to attain 7000 rebounds as an achievement is rubbish-in Chamberlain's day, one had to go to university for four years and play three of them. One can only imagine what frightening numbers Chamberlain would have amassed had NCAA rules of the time not compelled him to stay in school.

Since: Dec 4, 2006
Posted on: April 19, 2011 10:17 am

Dwight Howard wins Defensive Player of the Year

I love people who make a case against Howard by just dismissing him as a rebounder. The Magic are top 4 in the NBA in defensive efficiency, opponents ppg, opponents fg%. Why do you think that is? They lead the league in defense at the rim both in terms of makes and attempts (they are the only team that allows under 20 attempts per game at the rim). They lead the league in defensive rebounding rate. Howard is the only center to rank in the top 60 in steals per game and among non guards he ranks in the top 10. He averages 3.75 combined steals/blocks per game, by far the most in the NBA. So even if you dismiss his rebounds (although again his team leads the NBA in rebounding rate), he does everything else very very well also. Hoopdata has him with a defensive rating of 3.88 which leads the lead by a sizeable margin (only 3 players are over 3).  Lastly and most importantly, watch the guy play. He changes the game defensively more than any other player in the league.

Since: Oct 30, 2008
Posted on: April 19, 2011 6:20 am

Dwight Howard wins Defensive Player of the Year

How is Bogans even in the conversation? Practical joke? 1.8 RPG 0.5 SPG and 0.1 BPG... And it's not like he is Bruce Bowen guarding someone one-on-one... Someone had fun with this.

Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: April 18, 2011 11:04 pm

Dwight Howard wins Defensive Player of the Year

Joakim Noah got fewer votes than Bogans?  WTF?   Hill is good but who voted him the #1 defender in the league?

FWIW my top five would be Rondo, Battier, Noah, Chandler, and Howard.

Howard is a great defender, but I wish that rebound stats would stop getting mentioned for top defenders.  You can be a great defender and poor rebounder - although most good defenders are good rebounders also.  You can also be a great rebounder and a poor defender - this is probably a lot more common.

Since: Sep 30, 2009
Posted on: April 18, 2011 5:20 pm

Dwight Howard wins Defensive Player of the Year

Wait...Chuck Hayes got TWO first place votes??  Who were those voters??

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