Dwight Howard finishes 14th for NBA defensive player of the year

Lakers center Dwight Howard led the league in rebounding and was fifth in blocked shots but was 14th in the voting for defensive player of the year.
(Ronald Martinez / Getty Images)

SAN ANTONIO -- The Lakers didn’t have a great regular season. They’re also lagging in awards attention.

Dwight Howard was 14th in the voting for NBA defensive player of the year, receiving one first-place vote and four third-place votes. Memphis center Marc Gasol won the award, which was announced Wednesday.

[Updated at 10:49 a.m.: Howard seemed surprised, if not mildly irritated to finish that far behind the leaders.


“That’s funny,” he said. “That’s OK. We’ve got next year and I’ve got a long time. But this year is funny.

“I didn’t vote so I don’t know what to do about it. But it’s OK. I think everybody knows why I didn’t win or why I didn’t get any votes.”]

Howard was slowed earlier this season while recovering from back surgery. He also missed six games because of a torn labrum in his shoulder.

Still, he led the league in rebounding (12.4 a game) and was fifth in blocked shots (2.45 a game).

Howard is plenty familiar with the award, becoming the first player to ever win it three consecutive times (2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11).

Miami’s LeBron James was second in the voting this season, followed by Oklahoma City’s Serge Ibaka and Chicago’s Joakim Noah. Players who also finished ahead of Howard were the Clippers’ Chris Paul (11th) and Boston’s Avery Bradley (12th).

[Updated at 10:49 a.m.: Howard said he would have voted for Ibaka because of “the stuff he’s doing on the defensive end. I thought he was the clear-cut winner.”]


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