MVP Candidates – Dwight Howard

Posted by By at 30 March, at 00 : 51 AM Print

It says a lot about a player when an entire team’s production both offensive and defensive is structured around him.  It says even more when a team’s success relies solely on whether or not said player has a productive night or not.

In the case of Dwight Howard, the above statements aren’t just factual but are the truth.  Yes, Dwight does have a very productive supporting cast.  A solid Point Guard in Jameer Nelson.  A good group of wing players in Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu and J.J Reddick.  A fairly productive PF tandem in Brandon Bass and Ryan Anderson.  What this proves is that Orlando GM Otis Smith has done a good job in supporting his Superstar to ensure 1) He feels like the organization is attempting to win (See the Magic-Suns trade) and 2) He is a solid GM.  Although skilled, these players will only go as far as their leader Howard will take them.

The Magic sit 4th in the Eastern Conference 6.5 games back of the Chicago Bulls.  Imagine a world without Dwight Howard.  How high in the standings would the Magic be?  the better question may be, how LOW in the standings they would be.  Howard is having what some would call a ”typical” Dwight Howard type of season.  He is leading the Magic in scoring, rebounding, blocks and The Magic are looking good heading into the Playoffs.  But one must take a step back in seriously analyze both his statistics for the season and the impact on the Magic he is having.

He is averaging a career high 23. 2 points per game, a career high 14.3 rebounds per game, a career high 1.3 steals per game, 2.4 blocks per game and is closing in on a 60% free throw percentage on the season which is something he hasn’t achieved since his first year in the league in 04/05 when he shot 67%.  These stats are Gawd-like.  He  is running over the competition, plain and simple.  He has had 28 games this year where he has scored more the 20 points and over 15 rebounds.  He is simply too much for his competition to handle. 

The debate on whether or not he is MVP material or not runs deeper than his statistics on the season however.  We have to look at his impact on the Magic as an organization.  Before the trade back in December of last season with the Phoenix Suns that brought Richardson, Turkoglu and Earl Clark, The Magic were cruising right along sitting at 20-10 and team chemistry was never a question.  The supposed reason behind the trade was fear that the Magic just weren’t deep enough to make s serious run at the Championship this season.  Dwight Howard was putting up Dwight Howard numbers, but his supporting cast wasn’t good enough.  Howard was forced into playing alongside 3 new players.  That’s 3 new players that needed to learn (or re-learn in the case of Turkoglu) a new system and team chemistry had to re-built. 

As a true leader and Superstar, Howard and the Magic didn’t miss a beat.  The newly acquired players fit in right away and Howard’s dominance continued.  Typically in professional sports it takes teams some time to acquaint themselves with new team mates and begin to gel with each other.  Through the leadership of Howard, the Magic excelled and have gone 31-16 since the deal was made. 

Howard is proving that he is once again the top candidate for Defensive Player of the Year Award, is an All-Star starter, should be an All-NBA first team member and can and will be considered one of the top 5 candidates for Most Valuable Player.

The true definition of the MVP award is to acknowledge a player who effects their team both on the court and off.  Dwight Howard is more than ever this season proving why he is the leader of the Orlando Magic as they push towards the start of the Playoffs.  This combined with statistically his best season of his career so far and it looks like a serious case for why Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic should be considered for the Most Valuable Player for this season in the NBA.

The Bowse's Word

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