Dwight Howard is unquestionably the NBA’s best defensive player, and if anyone doubts it all they need to do is check out his impressive resume.
Already the first player in league history to win the Defensive Player of the Year award three consecutive seasons, Dwight was easily the leading vote-getter for the NBA’s All-Defensive Team that was announced Monday by the league office.
Dwight received a league-high 27 first-team votes and two votes for the second-team, giving him 56 points overall. The next highest vote-getter was Boston point guard Rajon Rondo with 39 points.
The NBA’s 30 head coaches vote on the award and a coach is not allowed to vote for a player on his team. (Remarkably, two coaches didn’t put Dwight – the unprecedented three-time winner of the Defensive Player of the Year award – on the first-team ballot).
Rondo (39 points), LeBron James (38 points), Kobe Bryant (33 points) and Kevin Garnett (33 points) filled out the first-team squad. Tony Allen (23 points), Chris Paul (18 points), Tyson Chandler (17 points), Andre Iguodala (15 points) and Joakim Noah (15 points) made the second-team All-Defensive squad.
It is Dwight’s third consecutive year on the first-team All-Defensive squad, while he was a second-team choice in 2008.
Dwight was once again the NBA’s most feared defender on the low block this season. He ranked second in the NBA in rebounding (14.1), fourth in blocked shots (2.38) and 19th in steals (1.38).
And remarkably he did all of that while also enjoying his finest season ever on the offensive end. He ranked 11th in the league in scoring (22.9 points) and second in field goal percentage (59.3 percent). He also had 66 double-doubles and six Eastern Conference Player of the Week awards – both NBA highs. That consistency helped him finish second in the balloting for the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award.
After another season in which he had 1,098 rebounds and 186 blocked shots, he topped 1,000 boards and 100 blocks for the sixth consecutive season. Since blocks became an official statistic in 1973-74, only Moses Malone (seven seasons) has accomplished that feat more.
This past season, Dwight blocked three or more shot 29 times this season and the Magic were 21-8 in those games. His finest defensive moment of the season came when Howard blocked a franchise-record six shots in the third quarter and eight overall against the Minnesota Timberwolves.