The following is a guest post by Jory Dreher:
As the winner of the Defensive Player of the Year was revealed, something within my stomach began to turn in disgust. It’s not that Marc Gasol isn’t a good defender, but Defensive Player of the Year? In a league where Serge Ibaka posted a remarkable 3.0 blocks per game (compared to Marc’s 1.0) while helping his team secure first place in the Western Conference along the way.
How about LA’s Superman? Yes he started off slowly while recovering from back surgery, but let’s not forget that Howard also played half of the season with a torn labrum which he’s still recovering from and still managed to more than double Gasol’s shot blocks with 2.4 per game.
Much like the argument that the voters made for Tyson Chandler‘s second half defensive surge a season ago (which eventually netted him the DPOY award over Howard) I feel there is a strong case to be made for Dwight.
Sure, he didn’t look like his old dominant self for a chunk of the season, but stats don’t lie so the real question is this: is Howard over looked because of his ”Image” much like teammate Kobe Bryant was when voters handed Steve Nash back-to-back MVP awards (05 and 06) despite Kobe’s record setting seasons?
Another case of the popularity award can be made in the defense of LeBron James (who was frowned upon by the media for the way he handled ”The Decision”) who not only had a better season than his previous two MVP awards, but also carried the Miami Heat to a better record than the would be MVP award winner, Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose. (2011)
I understand the excitement surrounding a player when he’s having a good year that may be worthy of some recognition, but I disagree with blatantly snubbing others whose body of work overwhelms that of the award winner.
Sometimes we either forget how great a player is, or we get bored with it and look for something new – it’s human nature to take things for granted until we look back in retrospect in awe and wonder how we overlooked the things that matter the most: the production.
9.1 defensive rebounds
3.3 offensive rebounds
12.4 total rebounds
1.1 steals per game
84 steals all season
694 total defensive rebounds
251 total offensive rebound
3.4 fouls per game
5.5 defensive rebounds
2.2 offensive rebounds
7.7 total rebounds
1.0 steals per game
1.7 blocks per game
438 total defensive rebounds
184 total offensive rebounds
80 steals all season
3.2 fouls per game
This was a guest post by Jory Dreher. You can follow him on Twitter at @Jay_Laker. Edited by Lakerholicz.com.