Defensive Player of the Year: Is Dwight Howard the best defender yet again?
The Defensive Player of the Year award in the NBA is one of the awards that don’t get much recognition when compared to the NBA MVP, but should as defense in the NBA is an art form and something that doesn’t get practiced enough like it does on the college basketball level.
Ever since the end of the Michael Jordan era in the NBA, defense has seemed to take a backseat to potent offenses. Back in the day, the credo of defense wins championships was something that was preached by every single team around the league. That still gets talked about these days and is practiced by teams like the Boston Celtics and the two-time defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers, but is seldom seen in the majority of the teams around the NBA.
Fortunately, there are still players around the NBA today that pride themselves on the defense side of the floor and make a goal to become the best defender in the NBA.
Defensive Player of the Year candidates:
Kevin Garnett, Boston Celtics
As arguably one of the most passive players in the league today, Kevin Garnett puts just as much effort on the defensive side of the ball as he does on the offense of side of the ball. This is something that doesn’t happen much in the league these days as everyone wants a score and no one wants to play defense.
Even though Kevin Garnett’s career in the NBA might quickly becoming too close as he is exactly the player used to be, he is without a doubt one of the best team players in the league and still a very dominant force on the defensive end of the floor for the Boston Celtics.
Tyson Chandler, Dallas Mavericks
Over the past few years, Tyson Chandler has bounced around the NBA a bit and not really got the credit he deserves as dominant force on the defensive end of the floor.
Fortunately, he has been able to resurrect his career with the Dallas Mavericks as owner Mark Cuban to chance on this big kid. Now that Chandler has made an impression in Dallas, he might’ve found a home for the foreseeable future, but he is also in the running for the defensive player of the year this season.
Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic
Dominant centers are not something that is seen in the NBA that much anymore. Back in the day there seem to be a dominant center on almost every team with players like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Hakeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing, David Robinson and Shaquille O’Neal in his prime, but these days a dominant center or center with skills is seldom seen.
Fortunately for the Orlando Magic, they have arguably the best center in the league in Dwight Howard who continues to improve his game on both ends of the floor every single season. This year Howard has become a much better offensive player with a variety of moves in the paint, but he is still without a doubt the best defensive player in the league and the frontrunner to win the Defensive Player of the Year award once again.
Prediction: Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic