With the NBA regular season nearing its conclusion, we here at “Sir Charles in Charge” have decided the time is right to start handing out some end-of-year hardware to those around the league who have stood out amongst the pack and performed at the highest level in the National Basketball Association this year.
Over the next few days, we will be giving you our selections for all of the major NBA awards (Most Improved, Coach, Defensive Player, 6th Man, Rookie, Most Valuable Player). I as Editor of “Sir Charles in Charge” have received nominations and votes from fellow staff writers as well as loyal readers of the site for all of the awards.
The results are in. For day 3 of our SCIC awards, we give you our selection for the NBA Defensive Player of the Year.
2nd runner-up: Miami Heat Forward Lebron James
2011-12 statistics: 27.1 points, 7.9 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 1.9 steals, 0.8 blocks
I wouldn’t have placed Lebron as high as third on this list. I would have liked to see a guy like Andre Igoudala or Tyson Chandler possibly crack the top three, but I suppose beggars can’t be choosers. Voting is taken into account from a variety of sources and that is how James is as high as he is.
This doesn’t mean that James isn’t truly a great defender. He actually may be the most complete defender on this list.
He’s a tremendous perimeter defender (third in the league in steals), has breakaway speed from one side of the court to the other in defending shots and is given the hardest defensive matchup on a nightly basis.
If his offensive skills were to diminish but his skills as a defender remained the same, we may be able to fully appreciate the all-around talent that Lebron James is. Scoring points is always a plus, but James is certainly underrated when it comes to his impact on the other side of the ball.
I just feel that others have a stronger case for the award this season than James does.
1st runner-up: Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka
2011-12 statistics: 9.0 points, 7.9 rebounds, 0.4 assists, 0.5 steals, 3.6 blocks
The race for NBA Defensive Player of the Year is a lot closer this time around than in past years. A strong case can be made for Serge Ibaka in 2012.
Ibaka is a blocking machine. He currently has 3 games this season in which he’s recorded 10 or more blocks becoming the first player since Shawn Bradley in 1997 to achieve that milestone. He has only 3 games in which he’s recorded no blocks at all.
The scary statistic is that not only does he lead the league in blocks (229), but he’s 100 blocks ahead of 2nd place! (DeAndre Jordan: 129)
The only criticism against Ibaka that would hold him back from winning the actual league award is that he’s protected by a great defensive player in Kendrick Perkins while the presumed winner (see below) is basically contributing to all of his teams interior defense by himself. That’s not his fault, but it certainly must be taken into account.
Ibaka is only 22 years old. He has laid the groundwork this season to become a mainstay in the DPOY award race for years to come.
and the winner of the first ever SCIC award for NBA Defensive Player of the Year is….
Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard
2011-12 statistics: 20.6 points, 14.5 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.5 steals, 2.2 blocks
It pains me to say it, but Dwight Howard is a once-in-a-lifetime defender who will surely walk away with another DPOY trophy this season.
His defensive numbers may not be as imposing as James or Ibaka, but it needs to be noted that Dwight Howard is 90-95% of the Orlando Magics defense.
He’s the most intimidating force in the paint that the league has seen since “the original Superman” Shaquille O-Neal. His attitude may stink on occasion, but there is no doubting his sheer talent on the defensive side of the ball. His ability to block and alter shots is second to none. His size alone causes opposing players to turn into jump shooters.
By (more than likely) winning the leagues DPOY award this season, Howard will join Dikembe Mutombo and Ben Wallace as the only players to win the award 4 times.
At the pace he is currently on, he will probably shatter that mark by the end of his career.
Serge Ibaka tightened the race, but Dwight Howard is your SCIC NBA Defensive Player of the Year for 2012.
Honorable Mentions: New York Knicks Tyson Chandler, Philadelphia 76ers Andre Igoudala, Dallas Mavericks Shawn Marion
Staff Writer John Armstrong nominations: 5) Chris Paul 4) Mike Conley 3) Dwight Howard 2) Lebron James 1) Serge Ibaka
Staff Writer Joe Nardone nominations: 5) Metta World Peace 4) Andre Igoudala 3) Roy Hibbert 2) Dwight Howard 1) Lebron James
Editor Chris Walder nominations: 5) Kevin Garnett 4) Shawn Marion 3) Tyson Chandler 2) Dwight Howard 1) Serge Ibaka
Reader nominations (after tally): 5) Andre Igoudala 4) Lebron James 3) Tyson Chandler 2) Serge Ibaka 1) Dwight Howard
Coming tomorrow: SCIC award for NBA 6th Man of the Year