Photo by Fernando Medina of the Orlando Magic;
used with permission of the Magic
As expected, Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard was named the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year today. In honor of his winning, Kia Motors donated a new Borrego to Orlando Day Nursery on Howard's behalf, as depicted in the above photo.
More of Howard's impressive credentials, as well as the identity of the other Magic player to receive a vote, follows the jump.
From the official press release, courtesy of the Magic:
Howard, a three-time NBA All-Star, helped the Magic to its second consecutive Southeast Division title (59-23), including a 32-9 record at home. The Magic held opponents under 100 points 54 times this season -- compiling a 43-11 record -- including a season-low 68 points allowed by New Orleans on Dec. 25. Orlando allowed 94.4 ppg (7,737 points), which ranked sixth in the NBA, and overall the team was in the NBA’s top 10 in seven defensive categories.
Howard became the fifth player in NBA history to finish the season leading the league in rebounding and blocks (1973-74 was the first season blocks were kept as an official statistic). The select group includes Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (L.A. Lakers, 1975-76), Bill Walton (Portland Trail Blazers, 1976-77), Hakeem Olajuwon (Houston, 1989-90) and Ben Wallace (Detroit, 2001-02).
Howard received 542 points, including 105 first-place votes, from a panel of 119 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. Cleveland’s LeBron James finished second with 148 points and Miami’s Dwyane Wade finished third with 90 points. Players were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote received.
It's worth noting that Howard did not appear on 5 ballots; it's also worth noting that Hedo Turkoglu received one third-place vote, joining Trevor Ariza, Marcus Camby, Grant Hill, Joel Pryzbilla, and Josh Smith.
Congratulations to Howard, once again.