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View Full Version : Does The NBA Need Two DPOY Awards?



JasonJohnHorn
04-15-2010, 10:06 AM
I've been hearing Dwight Howard fans going on about how he will be the youngest player to win two DPOY awards, and that may very well happen, but I sincerely believe that are defenders who are as good (or perhaps better) than Howard in the league.

The tendancy, I find, when it comes to handing out the award, is that the guy who leads the league in blocks often wins the award, and if people get bored voting for that guy, then the guy who leads the league in steals gets it.

The thing is, the guy who gets the most blocks isnt always the best shot blocker. And the guy who gets the most steals isnt always the best wing defender. There are guys (like Miami's Joel Anthony and Portland's Greg Oden) who get blocks... and also get a lot of personal fouls in the process.

Gerald Wallace, for example, averages 2.2 personal fouls per-36 minutes, to Howards 3.6. Josh Smith only averages 3.0 personal fouls per-36 minutes. Joel Anthoy averages 3 blocks per 36-minutes, but also averages 4.3 personal fouls per 36-min. Howard is clearly the best shot blocker of the group here, but he also doesnt get as many steals as either Smith or Wallace, nor does he defend on the wing as well as the post the way Smith and Wallace do.

James also is a great defender on the wing and in the post, and lets not forget guys who play great D without posting very high "defensive stats" (guys like Garnett, 'Sheed and Duncan).

Firstly, I think playing defence on the wing and in the post are two different things. Guarding a point guard or shooting guard or small forward, who are facing the basket with the ball, and trying to cut off lanes and gaurd the cross over while also making sure you stay in reach to cover a pull back jump shot is differnet than playing defence a guy who is posting up with his back to the basket and trying to get position, or picking off a point guard drivinng the lane while coming off from the side. Two complete different things.

I honestly think there needs to be two DPOY awards, one for wing/back court defenders, and one for post defenders, that way both types of defenders can get some love, rather than the award being handed to the leading shot blocker 9 times out of 10.

Oh, and lets not get too excited about Howard leading the league in block for two years in a row at such a young age. His averages are actually the 2nd and 3rd lowest averages to have lead the league (the lowest being Brand 2.5 in 2003). From 1989-2000, with his highest BPG averages, Howard would have never finished higher than fifth in the league in that catagory. He's leading the league in blocks because there arent a lot of great shot blockers in the league. I mean, Greg Ostertag has averaged 2.7 blocks a game before, and he has never been considered a dominant shot blocker, so lets not start putting Howard shot blocking and defensive ability in the same catagory Hakeem, Mourning, Mutumbo and Robinson. Lets put his accomplishments (as impressive as they are) in a historical context.

Vidball
04-15-2010, 10:24 AM
Who started this...Jeff Van Gundy? Or was is Stan?

MagicDojo
04-15-2010, 11:14 AM
I've been hearing Dwight Howard fans going on about how he will be the youngest player to win two DPOY awards, and that may very well happen, but I sincerely believe that are defenders who are as good (or perhaps better) than Howard in the league.

The tendancy, I find, when it comes to handing out the award, is that the guy who leads the league in blocks often wins the award, and if people get bored voting for that guy, then the guy who leads the league in steals gets it.

The thing is, the guy who gets the most blocks isnt always the best shot blocker. And the guy who gets the most steals isnt always the best wing defender. There are guys (like Miami's Joel Anthony and Portland's Greg Oden) who get blocks... and also get a lot of personal fouls in the process.

Gerald Wallace, for example, averages 2.2 personal fouls per-36 minutes, to Howards 3.6. Josh Smith only averages 3.0 personal fouls per-36 minutes. Joel Anthoy averages 3 blocks per 36-minutes, but also averages 4.3 personal fouls per 36-min. Howard is clearly the best shot blocker of the group here, but he also doesnt get as many steals as either Smith or Wallace, nor does he defend on the wing as well as the post the way Smith and Wallace do.

James also is a great defender on the wing and in the post, and lets not forget guys who play great D without posting very high "defensive stats" (guys like Garnett, 'Sheed and Duncan).

Firstly, I think playing defence on the wing and in the post are two different things. Guarding a point guard or shooting guard or small forward, who are facing the basket with the ball, and trying to cut off lanes and gaurd the cross over while also making sure you stay in reach to cover a pull back jump shot is differnet than playing defence a guy who is posting up with his back to the basket and trying to get position, or picking off a point guard drivinng the lane while coming off from the side. Two complete different things.

I honestly think there needs to be two DPOY awards, one for wing/back court defenders, and one for post defenders, that way both types of defenders can get some love, rather than the award being handed to the leading shot blocker 9 times out of 10.

Oh, and lets not get too excited about Howard leading the league in block for two years in a row at such a young age. His averages are actually the 2nd and 3rd lowest averages to have lead the league (the lowest being Brand 2.5 in 2003). From 1989-2000, with his highest BPG averages, Howard would have never finished higher than fifth in the league in that catagory. He's leading the league in blocks because there arent a lot of great shot blockers in the league. I mean, Greg Ostertag has averaged 2.7 blocks a game before, and he has never been considered a dominant shot blocker, so lets not start putting Howard shot blocking and defensive ability in the same catagory Hakeem, Mourning, Mutumbo and Robinson. Lets put his accomplishments (as impressive as they are) in a historical context.

Dwight Howard alters the offensive schemes of other teams because of the block threat. He alters a dozen shots per game going for the block. As a result the team has the fewest points against them overall, per posession and in the paint. This causes other teams to lose. Thats why he is picked ...not because of actual blocks per minute.

Raph12
04-15-2010, 12:28 PM
Blah blah blah :bla:

Dwight will win DPOY not because of his blocking and rebounding, but because of his overall impact on opposing teams' offenses. He can affect every single play on the defensive end, he makes his Magic team the number 1 defense in the league; The Magic are 1st in dEFF, drb%, oppFG%, basket protection (oppFG% at rim) and paint protection (pts in the paint per 100 possessions).

As if this wasn't already a unanimous decision, here's some more about the reigning DPOY for you to chew on: http://www.nba.com/2010/news/features/john_schuhmann/04/14/defensive.player/index.html?ls=iref:nbahpt1


Stats don't tell Howard's true value as NBA's best defender

For the second straight season, Dwight Howard leads the league in rebounds and blocked shots. And that may be all you need to know in determining that Howard should win his second straight Kia Defensive Player of the Year award. But Howard's value on defense goes well beyond boards and blocks.

When he's playing, Howard's blocks account for less than 5 percent of the shots the Magic's opponents take. Of the shots that opponents don't get blocked while Howard is on the floor, he rebounds 29 percent of the misses, a hefty percentage. That means that 71 percent of those rebounds go to someone else. So on a vast majority of defensive possessions, Howard's hands don't even touch the ball.

Still, Howard is NBA.com's choice for Defensive Player of the Year for exactly that reason -- what he provides the Magic when he's not blocking a shot or grabbing a rebound.

Orlando is the best defensive team in the league, allowing 100 points per 100 possessions. They have a defensive-minded coach, but other than Howard, the other four starters don't have great defensive reputations.

Matt Barnes is probably the best defender of the group, but he played his last three seasons with the defensively deficient Suns and Warriors. Rashard Lewis was part of a lot of bad defensive teams in Seattle before he came to Orlando. Vince Carter's Nets were a very good defensive team in 2005-06, but got worse every year after that and ranked 23rd defensively last season. And Jameer Nelson has been burned by plenty of point guards around the league.

Hedo Turkoglu was one of those other four defenders last season, when the Magic were the best defensive team in the league as well. This season, Turkoglu is a starter on the worst defensive team in the league.

Simply put, Howard's presence makes his teammates better defenders. They can be aggressive on the perimeter because they have Howard behind them. It's no surprise that the Magic allow the fewest paint points in the league (just 38.3 per 100 possessions).

Indirectly, Howard also defends the 3-point line. His teammates can run their man off the line, knowing that he's not getting all the way to the rim. Last season, the Magic ranked second by allowing their opponents to shoot 34 percent from 3-point range. This year, their 3-point defense has fallen off and they rank 23rd, but because they run their opponents off the line, they're still in the top half of the league in threes allowed per possession. And they still force their opponents to score just 24 percent of their points from mid-range, the highest rate in the league.

There's a caveat when calling Howard the best defensive player in the league, because his job is much different than the NBA's elite perimeter defenders. Staying in front of Kobe Bryant and getting a hand in his face when he rises for a jumper requires more work than it does to help out and challenge him at the rim.

But no matter how good Shane Battier or Luc Mbah a Moute may be on the perimeter, they can't make the same impact that Howard does in the paint. Battier may be the Rockets' best defender, but Yao Ming is still their most important defender. There's no arguing that Yao's absence is the biggest reason that the Rockets went from being a top-five defense last season to being a below average defense this one.

Size matters and Howard's biggest tools defensively are his natural gifts: his height, width and athleticism. Still, there are plenty of big, athletic guys in the NBA who aren't nearly as good defensively as Howard.

It takes more than natural gifts to become the most important defensive presence in the league. It takes intelligence and experience to be in the right position to help out teammates and to make the most of the 2.9 seconds in the lane. It takes the right balance of aggressiveness and discipline to block and alter shots without getting into foul trouble or losing position on rebounds. And it always takes energy and focus to be the best defensive player over the course of 82 games.

Is Howard all the way there yet? Probably not. At 24, he can still get better defensively.

And that's a scary thought, because right now, he's already the best.

And the 2010 DPOY is...

ballpd05
04-15-2010, 12:35 PM
Dwight Howard alters the offensive schemes of other teams because of the block threat. He alters a dozen shots per game going for the block. As a result the team has the fewest points against them overall, per posession and in the paint. This causes other teams to lose. Thats why he is picked ...not because of actual blocks per minute.

^This because of his quickness he can help and recover great as well, which is what made KG so special to the Celtics a couple years ago with their title team.

Now I agree that wing defenders need more credit. Having to funnel Kobe or stick with Chris Paul or Dwyane Wade is different than having to wrestle down low with someone. And it is a perimeter player dominated league, even most of the good big man are face up beat you off the dribble guys. The back to the basket game is dying... I see just as many guards post up nowadays than big men.