Denton: Howard Finishes Second in MVP Balloting

By John Denton
May 3, 2011

ORLANDO – Dwight Howard’s hard work in the offseason and steady improvement this season helped the Orlando Magic superstar center to his highest finish ever in the balloting for the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award.

Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose, 22, became the youngest player ever to win the MVP award when the results of the voting were released on Tuesday by the NBA. Rose received 113 of a possible 120 votes from sportswriters and a fan vote conducted nation-wide.

Orlando’s Howard finished second in the balloting with 643 points and three first-place votes. He also received 57 second-place votes, 31 third-place votes, 16 fourth-place votes and 11 fifth-place votes. Howard had previously finished fourth in 2009-10, fourth in 2008-09 and fifth in 2007-08.

Miami’s LeBron James (522 points, four first-place votes), Kobe Bryant (428 points, one first-place vote) and Kevin Durant (190 points) rounded out the Top 5 in voting. Rose had 1,182 points with players getting 10 point for a first-place vote, seven points for a second-place vote, five points for a third-place vote, three points for a fourth-place vote and one point for a fifth-place vote.

Howard enjoyed the finest season of his seven year career, improving dramatically offensively while also becoming the first player in NBA history to win the Defensive Player of the Year three seasons in a row. He finished 11th in the NBA in scoring (23 ppg.), second in rebounding (14.3 rpg.), second in field goal percentage (60 percent), third in blocked shots (2.43 bpg.) and first in double-doubles (58). Howard’s 23 points per game were by far a career-high and a product of the work that he put in over the summer and during the season to expand his game and his shooting range.

And Howard was even better in the playoffs, averaging 27 points, 15.5 rebounds and 1.83 blocked shots in the Magic’s first-round loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

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