Defensive Player of the Year
Winner- Dwight Howard- Orlando Magic
Aside from Dwight Howard, there are no other serious candidates for Defensive Player of the Year. Howard has won the award in the past two seasons and offensive players fear the 6-11 center when driving the lane. Howard has the ability to thwart players from penetrating in the paint and his occasional powerful blocks always find themselves atop the highlight reels.
Howard is no doubt the best defender in the NBA, and by seasons ends he will surely win his third consecutive crown. The 265 pound tank for the Orlando Magic is averaging 23.1 points per game, 14.2 rebounds per game and 2.4 blocks per game.
Runner-up- Josh Smith- Atlanta Hawks
Despite the fact that Dwight Howard is the clear-cut winner of this performance award, Josh Smith deserves praise for his own defensive prowess. Smith has a penchant for blocking shots, and although his on ball defense is poor, his rejections are very valuable and important for the Hawks. In the 2010-2011 season, Smith is averaging 8.6 rebounds per game and 1.6 blocks per game.
3rd Place- Dwayne Wade- Miami Heat
Although Dwayne Wade is a 6-4 guard in the NBA, he has the ability to blocks shots and plays great on ball defense against his opponents. He may be far from Dwight Howard in the award voting, but Wade has been spectacular on the defensive end of the court. Wade is accustomed to rejecting seven-foot centers’ shots, and his 1.1 blocks per game average is quite amazing considering he spends little time in the paint.