Denton: Howard Earns Another Honor

By John Denton
May 12, 2011

Note: The contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Orlando Magic. All opinions expressed by John Denton are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Orlando Magic or their Basketball Operations staff, partners or sponsors. His sources are not known to the Magic and he has no special access to information beyond the access and privileges that go along with being an NBA accredited member of the media.

ORLANDO – The awards just keep on coming for Orlando Magic superstar center Dwight Howard.

Already the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year for an unprecedented third consecutive year, second in the balloting for the MVP award and the leading vote-getter for the All-Defense first team, Howard was selected to the league’s All-NBA first-team squad on Thursday.

Howard, 25, finished one ballot shy of being a unanimous first-team choice for a second consecutive season. He, like MVP winner Derrick Rose, received 118 of a possible 119 first-team votes from a national panel of media. Miami’s LeBron James was the lone unanimous choice for the first-team All-NBA squad. Last season, Howard became the first player in Magic franchise history to be a unanimous first-team All-NBA selection.

It was the fourth straight year that Howard was a first-team All-NBA selection. He was a third-team All-NBA performer in 2007. New York’s Amare Stoudemire received two first-team votes as a center, denying Howard a shot at being a unanimous first-team selection once again.

Los Angeles’ Kobe Bryant and Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant joined Howard, James and Rose on the first-team squad. Miami’s Dwyane Wade, Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki, Los Angeles’ Pau Gasol, Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook and Stoudemire were second-team selections. New Orleans’ Chris Paul, San Antonio’s Manu Ginobili, Atlanta’s Al Horford, Memphis’ Zach Randolph and Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge filled out the third-team All-NBA squad.

Howard averaged a career-best 22.9 points this season, while continuing to be the game’s premier defensive player. He ranked second in the NBA in rebounding (14.1), fourth in blocked shots (2.38) and 19th in steals (1.38).

He also had 66 double-doubles and six Eastern Conference Player of the Week awards – both NBA highs for the season. And 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.

But his biggest strides came on the offensive end, where he finished second in the league in field goal percentage at 59.3 percent. Howard twice scored 40 points during the regular season, had 16 30-point games and hit at least 20 points 35 times. In Game 1 of the playoffs against the Atlanta Hawks, Howard scored a career-best 46 points, while also pulling down 19 rebounds.

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