Dwight Howard’s reign on top of the defensive food chain came to a screeching halt last season after dropping what would have been his forth consecutive time claiming top honors as the NBA’s premiere defender to Tyson Chandler in the midst of back surgery and the on-going Dwightmare in Orlando.
Howard received just 18 first place votes for 186 points, while Tyson Chandler nabbed 45 first place votes for 311 points, and OKC’s Serge Ibaka got 41 first place votes for 294 points.
Yet, Howard believes the award should have been his, and not Chandler’s.
“I thought I should have won it last year, to be honest with you,” Howard told reporters after practice Monday. “I was a little bit upset about that.” Howard said. “I felt like I did my job to win it. I also feel like I didn’t because of the whole situation,” Howard said, referring to the uncertainty surrounding his future with the Magic and the distraction it became. “That played a factor in it.”
This was the stance I took as Chandler stole the award based on nothing more than circumstance just one season ago. It’s not that Tyson isn’t an elite defender, it just speaks more to the fact that Howard is FAR more superior.
Via Dan Devine at Yahoo! Sports-
Trey Kerby of The Basketball Jones
“When Dwight was off the court, the Magic allowed seven more points per 100 possessions. When Tyson was off the court, the Knicks actually allowed less points per 100 possessions (102 with Tyson, 100.5 without). 82games tells a similar story, that Tyson’s impact defensively wasn’t nearly as significant as Dwight’s. Plus, Dwight grabbed a higher percentage of defensive rebounds, blocked a higher percentage of shots, stole a higher percentage of balls and bested Tyson in basically every defensive category available, even down to defensive win shares, despite the fact Dwight played eight fewer games.”
Dwight Howard posted 2.2 blocks, 1.5 steals and 14.5 rebounds per game last season, while Chandler only posted 1.4 blocks, 0.9 steals and 9.9 rebounds per game.
These things do happen, and I firmly believe that voters get tired of the same ol’ same. Derrick Rose shouldn’t have beaten out LeBron James for the league’s MVP in 2010, but he did. This is a similar situation. Dwight Howard should be heading into 2012-13 as the reigning, 4-time defensive player of the year. Instead, he’ll be looking to reclaim his title from a man he doesn’t think is fit to wear the crown.
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