Dwight Howard wins Defensive Player of the Year
For the third consecutive year, Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard has been named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year. Read the excerpt, courtesy USA Today:
Howard averaged 14.1 rebounds (No. 2 in the league) and 2.38 blocked shots (No. 4). His presence near the basket helped Orlando to the league’s fourth-best defense in points allowed (93.7 points per game) and fourth-best shooting percentage allowed (43.6%).
For his efforts, Howard was named the NBA’s defensive player of the year, becoming the first player to win the award three consecutive years. Ben Wallace and Dikembe Mutombo each won the award four times.
“You’ve got to be very smart to be considered a great defensive player,” Howard said. “You’ve got to know your opponent. You’ve got to know the other team’s offensive schemes very well. … For me, I just try to learn the other team’s plays just as well as I know my plays. But it takes a lot of heart. You’ve got to be able to want to stop players, stop teams. … It’s very tough to play defense.”
Howard was the runaway winner, accumulating 114 of the 120 first-place votes and five second-place votes for 585 points. Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett was second (77 points), Dallas Mavericks center Tyson Chandler was third (70) points, Memphis Grizzlies guard Tony Allen was fourth (53 points) and Celtics guard Rajon Rondo was fifth (45 points).