NBA / Mar 20, 2009 / 5:52 pm

Dwight Howard belongs in the MVP discussion

Dwight Howard

Over on Yahoo! Sports, they have the standard “Who is this year’s MVP?” poll, but one that includes a surprise entry. Next to the usuals — Kobe, LeBron and D-Wade — is Dwight Howard. I’m glad somebody is finally starting to realize Dwight deserves to be there.

Despite leading the NBA in boards (14 rpg) and blocks (3 bpg) while scoring 21 points a night and leading Orlando to one of the League’s best records, Dwight has largely been left out of the MVP discussion. Why? I really don’t know. Because no matter what your MVP criteria is, he fits the bill: Howard is arguably the best player at his position in the League, his team would stink without him, his stats are off the meter (Kobe, Wade and ‘Bron don’t lead the League in multiple stat categories), he is a two-way player (front-runner for Defensive Player of the Year), and his team is a contender.

Unlike a lot of NBA analysts/writers, I’m not afraid to make my pick now for fear of being wrong later: I think D-Wade is the MVP, and he’ll get my vote when the time comes. But I don’t get why nobody is even mentioning Howard. I could even be compelled to vote for him third, over Kobe.

Why do you think Dwight has been mostly ignored in terms of MVP talk?

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  • nowwhatyo

    why not include Chris Paul too then? He seams to fit the same criteria as well.

  • nowwhatyo

    why not include Chris Paul too then? He seems to fit the same criteria as well.

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    Good point.

  • blah

    because he lacks any basketball moves.

  • jayslay

    im rite with u..i think howard should b a candidate…he is the most dominant post player in the league right now and he still has no post moves…

  • Nautic

    I think Dwight is being ignored because it’s a consensus among most analysts that Dwight’s offensive game is still very limited. He doesn’t have as many post-up moves as Shaq/Mourning/Robinson/Duncan/Olujawon etc. Also, he is stil young so everyone expects him to improve so they know if they give him MVP now when he is putting up these kinds of stats, then he’ll get 4-5 MVP’s in a row once he starts averaging 27/17/5/5 a few years later once his offense/passing improve as well.

  • jayslay

    so what he has no post moves…he still gets his pionts he gives u rebounds and blocks… that team only goes as far as he takes them..

  • northern lights

    @ AB, I think the reason he hasn’t been considered as much is because of the players he has around him (ie. Rashard Lewis, Hedo, and Jameer Nelson)
    If the magic are still good enough to win games even when Howard has an off-night (which they are), he can’t really be in the same discussion as the big 3.

    I agree hands down that Dwayne Wade is the MVP. Its a one man show in Miami. Wade is the unquestioned leader and finisher, and has singlehandedly willed his team back into playoff contention, following a dismal 2007/08 campaign. He’s also doing it with a rookie coach.

    Lebron has Mo Williams, and a legit 7 footer
    Kobe has Gasol, LO, a deep bench, and the Zen Master

    Numbers dictate the award should go to wade or lbj

  • hahns

    dwight disappears for stretches sometimes. and w/ one bucket to go- do you give it to him? hell no

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    I don’t buy the “no post moves” argument; first, because Howard does have at least one move (jump-stop/hook), second, because he’s still putting up numbers despite that, and third, how does that make him any less valuable? All the criteria I mentioned above still applies, whether he has 0 post moves or 37.

    I more agree with Nautic, in that people probably think he’ll have time to win plenty MVP’s as he gets better.

  • LakeShow84

    Problem is post players dont get the recognition guards and wings do because they arent flashy enough.. their game is played in the trenches not making moves at the top of the key.. its a guards league nowadays..

    If Dwade doesnt get defensive player of the year then it should be given to Howard.. And any player who leads his team to that many wins and wins DPOY is an MVP candidate.. or at least should be.. KG last year was a good MVP candidate..

    He just wont win because of what everyone on here is pointing out.. his offense..

    i agree with Nautic..

  • Nautic

    Another thing that isn’t helping Dwight is alot of the analysts/voters usually aren’t post players as well. They will look at post platers and say he is 6’10 or 7’6 or w/e and say how is he not averaging at least 10 rebound or at least 15 rebounds. They don’t appreciate how much those guys fight to get rebounds and how they constantly are getting boxed out or boxing other guys out. Analysts and media voters just look at numbers and set expectations. Dwight should be a candidate, but doesn’t deserve to win over Wade/Lebron this year, but he is making strong cases for himself.

  • kevin k

    he can’t pass. he has high amount of TOs for a guy who doesn’t get assits. he can’t hit a free throw. someone who can’t create for others and can’t hit free throws for MVP??? yea right. Name 1 mvp in previous 25 years that couldn’t pass or hit free throws.

  • kevin k

    i meant can’t do BOTH

  • George W Kush Sr

    So what if he doesn’t have any post moves? Steve Nash has no defensive presence. Nash is a one way player who got 2 MVPs moving the ball and then letting the ball go by him. Atleast Howard puts up 21 pts per game.

    He should be talked about. I’m not saying he should win it, but he should be mentionned up there with Duncan this year. LBJ, Kobe, D-Wade, Howard, Paul, Duncan, when you think about it, there’s a shit load of good players in this league right now. Damn.

  • kevin k

    When Dwight gets better court awareness and gets at least 1:1 assist to TO ratio or shoots around 70% in FT is when he should be considered an MVP candidate

  • kevin k

    Nash should have never won a MVP

  • Big Shot BOB

    I think Dwight wins the DPOY and LBJ wins the MVP enough said. I rather have the DPOY anyway.

  • Drink the Haterade (KB24 Chip 09)

    Nash should have never won an MVP… In fact I’m questioning how is that Nash won in 2006 when in fact Kobe was the best player…

    In fact why is that when Jordan was dominating six years he didn’t win MVP every year, just like Shaq in his heyday…

  • Nautic

    Nash deserved his MVP because he made Phoenix relevant again along with Amare/Marion/Bell/Johnson/Diaw/Barbosa/Shaq/Hill/Barnes. They are still relevant now cause he is in control of the offense again and is not being forced to play a certain style and instead they play as Nash feels they should play, not Porter’s method. The same is said for Dwight with Orlando, Lebron with Cleaveland, Garnett with Boston, Duncan with San Antonio, Wade with Miami, Paul with New Orleans, Roy with Portland etc. All of those teams have interest in them, but people are paying attention to them cause of their superstar players. You think if Boston played with Jefferson, Pierce, and Allen people would be interested in them as much? NO. Those teams rely on those players and they have role players and stars to help them out, but ultimately, your leader is the one who deseves MVP and that’s why Nash deserved his MVP even though other guys had their teams winning or put up numbers, Phoenix without Nash is a completley different team. They can still win, but their identity in the media and with fans and on the basketball court is noticably different when Nash is playing and when he is not playing. Same thing with Orlando and Dwight. Gortrat can back him up and get some rebounds, but their gameplan changes just like any other team changes so saying Nash doesnt play defense etc. and doesn’t deserve his MVP is an invalid argument. He does play defense, it’s just sub-par for a player of his caliber. Same thing with Shaq/Dwight/post players for free throws etc. You are judging their accomplishments as players and as a team, not their potential. That is how you judge MVP’s.

  • LakeShow84

    Shaq in 05′ was so much more of a force than Nash it wasnt even funny..

    Kobe in 06′ was so disgusting i cant believe anyone else was even considered..

    and like someone said Nash was/is a one sided player.. Defensively he is and has always been a liability.. Just ask Tony Parker lol.. thats the real reason why the Suns could never beat Spurs..

  • http://www.myspace.com/beenobrown BROGDEN

    “LBJ, Kobe, D-Wade, Howard, Paul, Duncan, –}PARKER, KG, PIERCE, DERON, PAU, ROY, GRANGER, YOUR PICK, when you think about it, there’s a shit load of good players in this league right now. Damn —}} YESZIR! THAT’S WHAT’S UP!”

    DWIGHT would clearly fall into the ‘best player on a really good squad’ mode of mvp.


    *no explanation point need.

    *just make sure when you say ‘damn’, you start by pressing your tongue against the roof of your mouth for 3 seconds at least.

  • pig

    I just don’t get how Chris paul is not in discussion,he has had better season than last year..

  • doc

    MVP-1Bron 2Kobe 3Dwight 4Wade 5CP3 6Duncan DPOY 1Dwight 2Bron 3Wade

  • You my Boy blue

    @ AB

    Why Kobe over Bron? Bron and Wade for me have been way ahead of Kobe. Kobe is only running at like 75% most of the season. The other two have been flat out all season. Why reward a player for not playing his best? Just cause he is (possibly) more talented….

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    I said I might vote for Dwight third, over Kobe, meaning I have Wade and LeBron at 1-2.

  • LakeShow84

    DOC you play pro ball and you got Lebron ahead of Dwade for DPOY?? closet fan.. Dwight and Dwade all day for DPOY..

    Weak Sauce..

    i think we should all be appreciative though.. We have a good 5 players you could name MVP.. you have 3-5 players playing some of the best basketball we have seen in years from so many different people.. you could make cases for Kobe, Lebron, Wade, Paul and Howard.. shit sprinkle in some Duncan just so we can have 1-5 taken care of..

  • Big Island

    Um, because he isn’t Bron, Kobe or Wade…

  • Dragonyeuw

    Not buying the lack of offensive moves,he still is averaging 21 points without a polished post game. Who cares if he doesn’t have the post moves of Hakeem?! I just think it’s become a guard’s league, hence why the prime MVP candidates are guard/wing players.

  • doc

    He doing his thing Lakeshow.In like the last 2 weeks I seen Bron block or defend game winners or clutch shots in the 4th real easy.The man been throwing dudes 3 pointers to the Frank man.

  • Marian

    i have one problem with howard. wenn the magic need a score in the 4th they don’t go to howard, they just don’t an thats because he is no safe bet for a bucket with good defense being played.
    the go to hedo first than the pg oder rashard lewis.
    and for me the mvp has to be THE man who gets the ball no matter what.

  • http://nbaroundtable.wordpress.com/ Dave

    I think there’s only two players in the MVP discussion — LeBron and Wade — with James winning out.

    But if you want to put in some honourable mentions, then Dwight definitely deserves some recognition. I think he’s in the top 5/6 for MVP this year (I have him at #4).