Tag: Defensive Player of the Year

Orlando Magic's Dwight Howard, right, blocks a shot by Atlanta Hawks' Etan Thomas (36) during the first half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA playoff basketball series in Orlando, Fla

Dwight Howard named Defensive Player of Year. Again.


UPDATE 1:33 pm: It’s official, Dwight Howard has a three-peat as the NBA Defensive Player of the Year.

“I want to thank my teammates for allowing their men to get to the basket again, forcing me to block shots and pick up fouls, and sometimes technical fouls,” Howard joked at the press conference. Or half joked. Or maybe not joked at all.

Howard is the first player ever to win it three years in a row. He also got 114 of the 120 first place votes.

The rest of the voting: 2) Kevin Garnett; 3) Tyson Chandler; 4) Tony Allen; 5) Rajon Rondo; 6) Andrew Bogut; 7) Grant Hill; 8) Andre Iguodala; 9) LeBron James; 10) Luol Deng.

11:32 am: There’s a “major announcement” coming from the Orlando Magic at 1:30 pm Monday, following the team’s practice.

It has all the suspense of whether or not David Caruso will take off his glasses and deliver a cheesy line when they find the criminal on CSI:Miami.

Dwight Howard will be named Defensive Player of the Year for the third straight year, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

It’s well deserved. No player impacts the game defensively like Howard, who clogs the paint and allows the Magic defenders to be more aggressive out on the perimeter. What’s more, the Magic didn’t suffer a big defensive setback after their midseason trades to bring in weak defenders like Hedo Turkoglu and Gilbert Arenas. That’s all Howard.  The Magic are 3 points per 100 possessions better on defense when Howard is on the floor, teams shoot 2 percent better when he sits and the Magic’s rebounding gets worse.

This likely will be the consolation prize for Howard, as Derrick Rose is almost certain to win the MVP, with Howard coming in second or third (LeBron James will be in the mix, too).

Winderman: The dirty little secret of NBA awards voting


Having read Rob Mahoney’s post in this space earlier, and having caught up on Howard Beck’s screed on the New York Times’ “Off the Dribble” blog, it is time to weigh in on the NBA’s dirty little secret, and why so many seemingly out-of-bounds ballots are cast in the polling for the league’s postseason awards.

Yes, the vote for each individual NBA postseason award other than Executive of the Year is a media poll.

And, yes, transparency should be a priority for any self-respecting media member.

Only in this case, it is not that simple.

And all is not as it appears.

In recent years, several media outlets have banned their employees from voting for such awards, due to concerns about conflicts of interests.

Beyond that, as the media industry contracts, there are fewer traveling beat reporters, with many teams being covered by a single newspaper beat writer on the road.

When the postseason ballots are distributed to media-relations staffs, the priority is distributing them to those who see the team on a fulltime basis, both home and away.

And that’s where it gets murky and why more than a few self-serving votes apparently are being cast.

Among the electorate are NBA employees, those directly drawing checks from the teams themselves.

Television broadcasters. Television analysts. Radio play-by-play men. Radio color commentators.

Take the Miami Heat, for example. Postseason voting privileges are granted to five team employees who work for the organization’s broadcast outlets.

While all have ample credentials and integrity, the fact remains that employees of teams are voting in award races that involve players on those teams.

The league’s rationalization is it is the only way to create to substantial electorate.

But these are employees of the very same teams that are creating award campaigns.

It is one thing to have votes cast from broadcasters from national media outlets. Their paychecks aren’t signed by the Knicks or Nets or Nuggets.

But as long as team employees are voting, the process will remain suspect even with total transparency.

Ira Winderman writes regularly for NBCSports.com and covers the Heat and the NBA for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Stan Van Gundy doesn't understand how the media votes (neither to we)

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When the Defensive Player of the Year voting was released yesterday, the NBA’s twitter pundits — of which we are a proud member — started picking apart the ballots. Like questioning the sanity of the person who voted for David Lee as the third best defensive player in the league, and wondering if that person ever watched Lee play?

Magic coach Stan Van Gundy told FanHouse he wanted to know what was up with the two voters who left Dwight Howard totally off their ballots.

“Those two people (who left him off completely) haven’t watched the NBA this year. No, they haven’t. Seriously, without getting into too much name calling, but you would have to be an absolute idiot,” he said. “Either you haven’t watched the NBA game, and shouldn’t have a ballot, or you know absolutely nothing about basketball. Nothing.”

We hear you Stan. We see that voting and often think the same thing. That or these ballots are filled out by the same Sports Information Directors as fill out those BCS poll ballots.