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.

Dwight Howard to be named Defensive Player of the Year

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Thumbnail image for Howard_Felton.jpgUPDATE 2:30 pm: It’s official. And here are your top 5 vote getters:

Dwight Howard Orlando 110 first, total 576
Josh Smith Atlanta 3 first, total 136
Gerald Wallace Charlotte 1 first, total 113
LeBron James Cleveland 4 first, total 61
Rajon Rondo Boston 1 first, total 55

12:39 pm: The only interesting part of the announcement will be to find out who came in second in the voting.

Dwight Howard will be named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year in a press conference at 2 p.m. today. We’ve all put this together because: 1) The Magic announced the press conference for a “major NBA award”; 2) Everyone knows — and I mean everyone, rice farmers in rural Thailand know this — that Howard was going to win defensive player of the year again.

There was no race here, this was Secretariat at the Belmont.

He deserves it. Just look at what he did in game one against Charlotte. You can measure the 9 blocked shots in 28 minutes, what you can’t measure is the shots he changed, the times that Raymond Felton started to drive then thought, “Maybe I’ll just kick this one out.” Howard is a beast on the boards as well — he grabbed 22 percent of the available rebounds this season when he was on the floor (second only to Marcus Camby). Think about that, he grabbed more than one in five available rebounds (and that total includes the ones he had no shot at, like threes that gave up long bounces off the rim, just think what the percentage is of ones he had a shot at).

Howard now has two of these. By the time he retires he will have a closet full.

This wasn’t going to be even close in the vote, but other  guys you might have considered were Gerald Wallace, Josh Smith, Andrew Bogut, Anderson Varejao, Ron Artest and LeBron James. But none of these guys.