24
Nov
07

Dwight Howard for MVP

I’m officially starting my Dwight Howard for MVP campaign! Yes, I know it’s only 14 games into an 82 game schedule, so any MVP talk is premature, but I don’t care. Dwight has been incredible and deserves all the credit and MVP talk he can get.

 

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A number of people picked Dwight to be the most improved player this year, and I thought that was an interesting pick. I mean, how much more does a player need to improve to the point that he wins that award when he averaged 17.6 points, 12.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks last year? The answer….24.5 points, 14.8 rebounds and 2.2 blocks! WOW! Those numbers are ridiculous! Now, I don’t think he is the MVP because of those numbers alone. His team is 11-3 with wins over Toronto, Cleveland, New Jersey, New Orleans and Boston (the only team to beat them so far). The Magic are winning because they are running the offense through Dwight! For example, tonight the Magic played the Bobcats. Dwight matched up against fellow draft buddy, Emeka Okafor and he abused him! Howard had 34 points, 17 rebounds (6 offensive), 2 assists, 3 steals, and 4 blocks!! Hmmmm, you think those people who had him ranked as a 3rd or 4th round pick in fantasy drafts regret that prediction?? Who gives a damn that he only made 12 or his 21 free throws attempted, when he’s putting up numbers like this! In fact, I took him in the 4th round in one of my leagues, because they were using yahoo’s ranking system and he was ranked as the 44th player on that list, so I knew I could sit on him, and that pick may save my season; since I took Gilbert Arenas in the first round!

Last year, many people questioned whether you could run an offense strictly though him because of his tendency to turn the ball over, and I blamed their coach, Brian Hill! The offense was horrible. They would give the ball to Howard down low, then everyone would just stand there are watch him! No movement to create passing lanes. No cutting to the basket when your man double teamed Dwight! It was absolutely amazing and pathetic that Brian Hill was an NBA coach! This year Stan Van Gundy is in charge and they look like a completely different team. Yes, they have Rashard Lewis, and Dwight and Jameer are older and wiser, but the drastic improvements those two players have made should be largely credited to Stan and his coaching staff! Their offensive sets are seamless and fluid. Jameer and Dwight’s turnovers are down while their scoring and other production (Jameer’s assists) are way up! Hell, even Hedo Turkoglu is having a career year! The best thing Stan Van Gundy has done is realizing that you can and should run everything through his big man! Dwight is rewarding his coach for his confidence in him.

The crazy thing to think about is that Dwight could and SHOULD build on those numbers as the season goes on, because his confidence in his midrange game and new post moves are starting to grow! Can you imagine? Howard is only 21 years old, and will only get better!! He’s one of the most dedicated and hard working players in the league and is just now getting an offensive repertoire. During the game against Boston, Dwight took an 18-foot baseline jump shot, and MADE IT! It was so beautiful and surprising that I screamed with excitement and scared my 1-month-old daughter! He just caught the ball, turned and shot it without even thinking. He will be absolutely unstoppable once he has a 15’ to 18’ consistent jumper! He actually has good shot mechanics; he just needs to work on his confidence. Stan Van Gundy and Patrick Ewing are doing a great job working with him on that.

Now the reality check. I understand it will be extremely difficult for Dwight to average over 14 rebounds per game for a whole season…. But he should do it! That’s the only reality check I have. His scoring numbers are legit and could increase. His field goal percentage will increase as his confidence does as well. His free throw shooting is getting better, and he should increase his blocks to 2.5 to 3 per game.

Dwight Howard for MVP.

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