Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard For MVP?

I love the NBA.

And I love Porn.

That’s probably why I love Stan Van Gundy – he brings together the best of both worlds.

The NBA’s version of Ron Jeremy was at it again this week, this time artfully criticizing the media’s premature awarding of the MVP to Derrick Rose, several games prior to the conclusion of the regular season, while openly campaigning for Dwight Howard for MVP. And through the course of his appeal, Van Gundy actually raised a very interesting point:

“Look, and I’ve said this before, to me, with his rebounding his scoring and his defense, I don’t think there’s anybody that impacts as many possessions in a game as Dwight does. I think Derrick Rose has been great. I’ll have no problem at all if Derrick Rose wins the MVP. They’ve got the best record in the East, he’s been clearly their leader. You can make a great case for him. I think it’s a hard choice to make, he’s been great. But, I still don’t think anyone impacts as many possessions a game as Dwight does.

For the record, my vote at this stage of the season goes to Derrick Rose. But if you think about it, Stan Van makes a pretty interesting case.

I understand that league voters have historically valued winning above all else when selecting the season’s MVP. They have also used criteria such as Best Player in the League, Most Dominant Player in the League, Player that does the Most with the Least, Alpha Dog on the Team with the Best Record, America’s Sweetheart, and even “I’m Tired of Giving the Award to the Player that actually Deserves it”.

However, to Stan Van’s point, one criteria that has never really been used is that of the player that  impacts the most possessions on both sides of the court. And in an era where defense wins championships, shouldn’t this be given more consideration? After all, isn’t a player’s ability to prevent points just as valuable as their ability to generate points? Moreover, isn’t a shot block that prevents 2 points just as mathematically effective as a layup that scores 2 points? If we work off this logic, Stan Van is right – no player in the NBA impacts more overall possessions on both sides of the floor than Dwight Howard. Through 69 games, Howard is averaging 23.1 points, 60.2% FG, 14.2 rebounds, 1.3 steals, and 2.4 blocks per game, while serving as both Orlando’s primary offensive facilitator as well as the league’s most dominant defensive force. If “impacting possessions” was an actual and valued criteria, the argument could be made that Howard would runaway with the MVP award at season’s end.

Another point of interest – had impacting possessions actually garnered more attention amongst MVP voters in the past, it might have actually

changed the course of the award’s history. In 1993, Charles Barkley won the MVP, but the runner up, Hakeem Olajuwon, impacted far more possessions on both sides of the floor because of his defensive superiority. The same could be said about Tim Duncan in 2001 when he was runner up to Allen Iverson, or Shaq in 2005 instead of Steve Nash, or even Kobe in 2007 instead of Dirk Nowitzki. Would the gap have been minimized or possibly erased had impacting possessions been taken into account?

I recognize that the MVP award can mean different things to a different voters, but the important takeaway from Stan Van’s comments is that voters need to begin incorporating defensive impact, and impact per possession, as part of their overall evaluation criteria when determining the MVP. In the interim, we’ll sit tight and wait to see what the NBA’s “Hedgehog” has up his sleeve next.


23 Responses to “Dwight Howard For MVP?”

  1. true, I think dwight should win but…I know they gonna have d rose win

    Posted by Tremaine Edwards Jr. | March 26, 2011, 1:37 pm
  2. Maybe — but bottom line is, the your “impact on possessions” should translate into wins for your team (pointless, if not). This is why voters overweight team record/place in standings so much. If Derrick Rose gets #1 seed in the East, I don’t see how you can NOT give it to him. (esp. considering he had Boozer and Noah out for major portions of this year)

    Posted by Brown Mamba | March 26, 2011, 4:14 pm
    • I think its hilariuos that people are using the arguement of the bull record over the Magics…..like the Magic dont have the fourth best record in the east and like the 8th best in the NBA but if thats what you need too make your arguement have any validity then go ahead but agian like it was siad in the article if it where by most impact in the game not the media (highlights)then Howard runs away with it….dont get me wrong D Rose has had a great season maybe MVP worthy just not over someone with Howards numbers and Impact on both side of the ball……with that siad like in years past they will give it to the guy with the most highlight reels which is D Rose

      Posted by samuel | April 4, 2011, 9:51 pm
      • “like the Magic dont have the fourth best record in the east”

        The Magic are 9 games behind the Bulls. Not exactly in the same vicinity. The Magic finished with a 59-23 record last year. The Magic have 29 loses as of 4/05/2011.

        Howard’s “numbers and Impact on both side of the ball” have lead to a worse record and lower seeding than the previous season and this is MVP worthy to you?

        And what exactly is Howard’s offensive impact in the final minutes of a close game?

        The MVP of the entire league should not be a offensive liability in a close game.

        Howard is not the MVP.

        Posted by Charles | April 5, 2011, 10:56 pm
        • So by your logic, whoever has the best record, pick the guy with the most points and he’s MVP. That’s stupid.

          Posted by Big Mike | April 15, 2011, 5:23 pm
          • I clearly explain my logic and it entailed much more than the player with the better record.

            You chose to ignore the rest of what I said and leveled and insult to boot.

            Reread my post and make a counter argument if you can.

            Posted by Charles | April 16, 2011, 7:53 pm
  3. Great Article Realist. DHoward’s defense has been overlooked for years. This Magic team would be no where close to the playoffs without him.

    Posted by superman | March 27, 2011, 8:05 pm
    • Thanks for the read Superman. In addition to his defense, D-Howard’s has also shown tremendous improvement on offense. Combined with his impact on both sides, he definitely deserves strong MVP consideration.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | March 28, 2011, 7:31 pm
  4. An interesting idea regarding the “plays impacted”, but one that is heavily weighted toward true centers in particular. Guards are at a serious disadvantage in the rankings if you use this criteria.

    I agree with the Brown Mamba that these “impacted plays” should translate into wins, and add that they are part of the inherent “intangibles” involved in the MVP voting.

    I like to think the voters think a little more about their vote than simply “best player on team with best record”, but they do sometimes decide on some weird MVPs.

    Posted by Clutch | March 28, 2011, 6:23 pm
    • Thanks for the read clutch. As I mentioned in my article, my vote still goes to Derrick Rose at this point in the season. However, I wanted to point out the “impact per possessions” metric in an effort to shed more light on the importance of defense which is rarely taken into account for the MVP voting. Regardless, you raise a very interesting point – Its far more difficult for guards to “impact” possessions on defense the way that a Center or Big man can. Its also why the DPOY award is rarely given to guards.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | March 28, 2011, 7:45 pm
  5. Even if you can somehow put aside the fact that the Bulls are on pace for close to a 20-win improvement while their major off-season acquisition (Boozer) missed much of the season, there remains the matter of the Magic being on pace for 6 or 7 fewer wins than last year. The only players in recent years who won MVP despite such a drop-off were Jordan in ’98 and Nash in ’06, and in each case they were recognized for maintaining their team’s still-high level of performance in spite of a major injury (Pippen for the first two months in ’97-’98, Amare for virtually the entire ’05-’06 season). Howard can’t point to a comparable situation here. Add it all up and I don’t there’s room for anyone but Rose in this year’s MVP discussion.

    Posted by E-Dog | March 29, 2011, 4:29 am
    • You mean like getting half his team traded mid season? Stupid comment. I love how all the Rose supporters through out the Boozer and Noah injuries that Rose had to deal with but forget about Howard having half his team traded. It shouldn’t even be close, Howard should win hands down. Rose isn’t even the major reason the Bulls record is so good! They have the best defense in the league. Is Rose the best defender on the Bulls? Not by a long shot. How can the best offensive player on a middle of the pack offensive team get so much credit for W’s? Sure you need to score points but defense is what wins. If Rose wins it just shows that this award means nothing

      Posted by MagicMike | April 7, 2011, 9:39 am
  6. My problem with Howard is that his carefree attitude permeates the team. I think that’ an overlooked reason behind the big midseason trade of Carter and lewis. One would often look over on the bench to see some combination of the three of them laughing away the game while paying no attention to Van Gundy’s pleas for them to play D. At first Van Gundy was happy with the trade because he thought he had gotten rid of a couple of cancers. But the main tumor remains. Stan will be fired after the season along with Otis Smith because everything must be done to placate the superchild before he makes a move to join the clowns in NY. He won’t move to La (They’re pretty serious about their winning). Howard for MVP?
    What a joke.

    Posted by David S | March 29, 2011, 9:41 am
    • David S -Thanks for the read. What I came to discover in writing this article is that everyone has the own criteria(s) for the MVP award. However, impacting possessions is something that voters have rarely taken into consideration and my point is that this is something they should assess moving forward as part of their overall criteria

      With that being said, I do not believe that Howard will, nor should be the MVP. However, he definitely deserves consideration. IWhile he oftentimes exudes a carefree attitude, but he is also one of the hardest working players in the game and unlike so many others, puts in his time during the off-season. Moreover, he has never had a chance to play with a true #2 and his supporting cast is usually built with #3 type shooters at best. Given the changes and lineup turnover on the team, I actually tend to believe that Howard has actually done a commendable job this year.

      I hope he doesn’t move to LA or NY and stays in Orl. The shift of players from small to big markets is turning the NBA into MLB.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | March 30, 2011, 3:53 pm
  7. UH for the commenter who said Rose has played without Boozer and Noah for a lot of they year, I say Dwight has not played with them ALL YEAR. The bulls 2nd 3rd and 4th best players, Boozer Noah and Deng are all better than the Magic’s 2nd best player. Dwight does WAY MORE with WAY LESS. I would like to see where the Magic are with no Dwight Howard and with Rose running the show instead…It wouldn’t be 4th in the East, I can tell you that much.

    Posted by LOGIC MAN | April 3, 2011, 6:46 am
  8. 3rd ranked defense with such DEFENSIVE STOPPERS like Gilbert Arenas, Va-JJ redick Ryan Anderson and Jameer Neslon!!! Give me a Break. Dwight is what he is, 23 ppg on 60% shooting and a top 3 defense in one package. Seriously Turkoglu and Arenas are supposed to compliment Dwight? The Magic are putrid and Dwight is the only reason they ever do anything positive.

    Posted by LOGIC MAN | April 3, 2011, 6:57 am
  9. Most negative comments come from those who DO NOT watch Dwight play on a regular basis. In the last 5 min of a regular season game D12 scored 5 points per on average, no other player in the NBA did. There is your impact! Plus he lead his tem in scoring, rebounds, blocks, steals impacting over 70% of possessions during every game. There is your impact! Who else did?

    Posted by theKingof68 | April 20, 2011, 7:46 am
    • theKing0f68 – Thanks for the read. It is an interesting debate, and impacting possessions has been overlooked for too long. Howard was a monster, and while not my MVP, nonetheless, merits strong consideration.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | April 20, 2011, 12:09 pm
  10. REPORT VIOLATION:I think its hilariuos that people are using the arguement of the bull record over the Magics…..like the Magic dont have the fourth best record in the east and like the 8th best in the NBA but if thats what you need too make your arguement have any validity then go ahead but agian like it was siad in the article if it where by most impact in the game not the media (highlights)then Howard runs away with it….dont get me wrong D Rose has had a great season maybe MVP worthy just not over someone with Howards numbers and Impact on both side of the ball……with that siad like in years past they will give it to the guy with the most highlight reels which is D Rose

    POSTED BY SAMUEL | APRIL 4, 2011, 9:51 PM
    hey samuel, if you say that they are gonna give it to the guy with the most highlight reels then they should give it to blake griffin who has had 2x if not 3x as many highlight reels than d rose because after every game he played he had highlights just off his dunks alone and he probably had more highlights than d rose just off his dunks alone. dwight deserves the mvp if not then i hate to say this and go againt kobe but lebron or wade deserve it even though they had 2 other all-stars. if you take away lebron or wade, sure they would win but they wouldnt be the 2 seed in the east just like if you take d rose off the bulls they would still make they playoffs. if you remember they were making the playoffs b4 d rose and they will be making them after and they need to get rid of boozer because he’s just a fool who never plays a whole season and chokes in the playoffs. so d rose dont deserve mvp and if he wins its another joke for the nba by having the not the best player win but the player the media attaches to. cuz next year it will be the same thing, his mvp win will mean as much as when nash won it 2 years in a row

    Posted by robert zamora | April 23, 2011, 10:31 am


  1. […] few days ago, my colleague and fellow Chasing 23 editor, The NBA Realist, suggested that it was Dwight Howard who might deserve MVP, not Derrick Rose.  My first instinct was to think “Rose has had a unbelievable year on a […]

  2. […] Dwight Howard For MVP? – Chasing 23 […]

  3. […] notion, as Howard finished with a freakish defensive line (14rpg/2.4bpg/1.3spg) while impacting the vast majority of Magic defensive possessions . Howard did all of this while playing with a collection of some of the worst defensive players in […]

  4. […] Dwyane Wade. Howard was dominant in last season’s campaign, the best defensive player in the NBA, a strong MVP candidate, also averaged 22 points per game, with the 2nd highest win shares, and higher PER than Kobe. […]

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