Dwight Howard named Defensive Player of the Year
Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic is the recipient of the 2009-10 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award presented by Kia Motors, the NBA announced today, marking the second straight season the All-Star has earned the honor.The 6-11 center became the first player to lead the league in rebounding and blocks (1973-74 was the first season blocks were kept as an official statistic) in consecutive seasons, averaging 13.2 rebounds and 2.78 blocks. Howard also paced the league in field goal percentage (.612), becoming the first player to lead the NBA in all three of those categories since the NBA started keeping blocked shots. He also became only the fifth player in NBA history to lead the league in rebounding for at least three consecutive seasons. Howard recorded an NBA-high 64 double-doubles, including three 20-point/20-rebound efforts.
Howard, a four-time NBA All-Star, helped the Magic to its third consecutive Southeast Division title (59-23) and the league’s second best record behind Cleveland (61-21). With Howard anchoring the defense, the Magic allowed 95.3 ppg, which ranked fourth in the NBA, and held the opposition to a league-low .438 shooting from the field, including 24 games where opponents shot under .400. Orlando held the opposition to less than 100 points 57 times and to less than 90 points 24 times.
Howard received 576 points, including 110 first-place votes, from a panel of 122 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. Atlanta’s Josh Smith finished second with 136 points and Charlotte’s Gerald wallace finished third with 113 points. Players were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote received.