Anez: And The Winner Is....Dwight Howard!
WDBO Sports Director Scott Anez has seen, or listened to, every Orlando Magic game ever played! A local boy who graduated from Lake Brantley High School and UCF, Scott began his career by covering the Magic's inaugural season in 1989 and he is known as the Voice of the Magic Fan in Orlando. This is Scott's 18th season hosting AM 580 WDBO's Inside Magic, the highest rated sports talk show in Orlando. He also serves as Broadcast Host for the Orlando Magic Radio Network. Scott shares his unique take on what's happening at Two Magic Place and beyond with ANEZ SEZ. Read more of Scott's previous blogs at the Anez Sez archive or at https://580wdbo.com.
Posted by Scott Anez, Wednesday, March 30, 2011, 12:29 PM
And The Winner Is....Dwight Howard!
I am not gonna argue against guys like Derrick Rose, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki.
The point of today's blog is to argue for Dwight Howard. It's a very easy argument to make for me.
I've got a little secret for ya. Sometimes we in the media tend to chum the waters and stir the puddin' to create controversy. I know...I know. It's hard to believe.
There's no chumming or stirring going on right here and now. I truly believe that Superman should be the winner of the NBA's Most Valuable Player Award!
Dwight Howard has become as lethal a guy as there is in this league because he is now a complete basketball player.
Offensively, Superman has become truly super.
Dwight has diversified his offensive arsenal with fancy footwork and a feathery outside stroke.
...He is averaging a career-high 23.2 points per game (11th in NBA)...
...He is shooting it at a clip of 60% this year, second highest mark in the league.
Defensively, nobody does it better. There's absolutely no doubt that Dwight will be the NBA Defensive Player of the Year for the third consecutive season.
...He is averaging a career-high 14.3 rebounds per game.
...He is second in the NBA in blocks with 2.41 blocks per contest.
...He is 23rd in the league in steals at 1.30 per.
The thing you cannot quantify is what kind of an effect Dwight's mere presence has on the opposing team. How many shots has he altered? How many drives to the basket has he prevented? How do opposing coaches alter their offenses because of Dwight's imposing presence in the paint?
You want more numbers? I'll give you numbers....
...Dwight Howard ranks in the NBA’s top 10 in scoring, rebounding, blocked shots and FG percentage. If he finishes the season the same way, he would become just the 10th player in NBA history to finish in the top 10 in each of those categories.
...Howard has 61 double-doubles this season (second in the NBA).
...He has recorded a franchise-record 31 straight double-doubles (Jan. 21-present), averaging 24.8 ppg. and 15.7 rpg. (769 points, 488 rebounds).
...Dwight has been named the NBA's Player Of The Week more than any other guy in the league this year. D-12 was named the Eastern Conference P-O-W for a sixth time earlier this week. LeBron has five such awards this year--while Russell Westbrook and Dwayne Wade sport four.
Aside from the numbers--What happens when you take Dwight Howard off of this Magic team? You may very well reverse the record.
We've seen it in the times when he leaves the court. The opposing team puffs its chest out and the Magic become a sieve defensively and often times we struggle offensively.
You take, for instance, Derrick Rose off the court in Chicago and you're still left with guys like Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah. You still have legit NBA stars holding their own. Dwight's supporting cast is good--but the star power is just not as dominating as it is in, say, Chicago, Miami or L.A.
Critics still point to Dwight's shaky free throw shooting (.589) and lack of clutch fourth quarter scoring as Dwight's weaknesses.
There's no question that Dwight has to get better from the line.
But, the lack of clutch scoring? That's a reflection of the center position he plays. Typically, there's a direct correlation between perimeter players who control the basketball and ESPN's Top 10 Plays.
If you are talking clutch--then why not measure Dwight's rebounds in the final few minutes of a game? How about his blocked and altered shots?
For me, it's very simple.
Dwight Howard is the MVP because he is the one NBA player who has the most profound effect upon what happens on both ends of the court.
Anez Sez is solely the opinion of Scott Anez and does not reflect the views of the Orlando Magic or the NBA.