Last week was a very good week for Orlando Magic superstar center Dwight Howard, and it just got a little bit better.
Dwight was named the Eastern Conference’s Player of the Week after averaging 26.3 points and 14.5 rebounds in four games, handing out some Thanksgiving cheer to needy families in the Orlando area and hitting the game-winning basket against the Washington Wizards.
Dwight won the East Player of the Week award for the second time this season and the 13th time in his seven-year NBA career. He is also a favorite to win the NBA’s Eastern Conference Player of the Month award for November, something he’s already done four times before in his illustrious career.
Dwight had 26 points, 18 rebounds and two blocked shots in a loss to the Spurs last Monday. He followed that up by scoring 24 points and grabbing 18 rebounds in a 104-95 defeat of the Miami Heat. Then, the Magic superstar had 23 points, 11 rebounds, two blocks and two steals against Cleveland and a season-best 32 points, 14 rebounds and two blocks against the Wizards.
Dwight topped off the effort in Washington with a putback layup with four seconds remaining to lift the Magic to a victory. It was the second game-winning basket of Dwight’s career.
“I appreciate the award but my focus is on winning games,’’ said Dwight, whose Magic host the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday night.
Dwight also spent last Tuesday handing out Thanksgiving dinners to approximately 800 people at the JR Smith Center in Orlando. Dwight’s mission since coming into the NBA was to make an impact in Orlando, and he attempted to do just that this Thanksgiving by providing a meal for 200 families (800 people).
“It makes it all worth it. Some people struggle every day, especially during the holidays. They want to do so much with their families, but don’t have the means to do it. That’s one of the reasons why I wanted to do this,’’ Dwight said. “This wasn’t something that I was asked to do; it was something that I wanted to do. It means a lot just to be able to help families in need.’’
Dwight ranks second in the NBA in double-doubles (12), third in field goal percentage (59.8), fourth in rebounding (11.9), fifth in blocked shots (2.44) and 11th in points per game (22.6).