Blogtable: D-Up, LeBron vs. Dwight

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.


LeBron vs. Dwight for DPOY | The World Wide NBA | A Bad Blowout


If LeBron is on, and Dwight Howard on, who is Defensive Player of the Year?

Steve Aschburner, NBA.com: Howard would win it, for several reasons – none of which would take anything away from James’ prowess or defensive versatility. But a big man’s defense, a.k.a., rim protection, is more valuable than any one perimeter player’s (though James’ run-down swats qualify). Also, the DPOY has been sort of an unofficial big man’s award through the years. Most of all, Howard at the top of his game – even on just one end – would be big news based on his last two seasons, and grab a lot of attention with his new team, in his new city. Oh, and one more thing: LeBron already wins all the important stuff.

Fran Blinebury, NBA.comIf Howard returns to his Orlando form and becomes a constant stopper at the rim in the middle of Houston defense and raises the Rockets into the upper echelon of team defense, they probably do get a top 3-4 seed in the West and he’ll get the votes.

Dwight Howard (Bill Baptist/NBAE)

Dwight Howard (Bill Baptist/NBAE)

Jeff Caplan, NBA.com: Dwight. The big guy always wins. Just look at the award winners over the last 20 years and try to find a non-center/power forward. Ron Artest won it in 2004 and Gary Payton won it in 1996. Just last season Memphis big man Marc Gasol beat out runner-up LeBron James and Grizz teammate Tony Allen. In a close race, put the trophy in the mail and address it to the center.

Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.comThat would depend on what else goes on around them, and probably what happens with the Miami and Houston offenses. Part of the success of James and Howard will be measured in the team records. There will be a big difference in credit being handed out if Miami stays at this level or falls off the pace, for example, just as Howard will receive more praise if the Rockets take a step forward in the regular season.

John Schuhmann, NBA.com: A lot of different elements go into this. LeBron would be the better defender, but centers anchoring the paint and protecting the rim can have a bigger impact on their team defense. But LeBron is less replaceable than Dwight (and would play more minutes), as long as Omer Asik is still on the Rockets. Also, LeBron is more important to the Heat’s defensive system (trap and recover) than a typical small forward is in other systems. But if Dwight can take the Rockets from 16th in defensive efficiency to top five or six, that would certainly be a convincing argument. So … ask again at the end of the season when I’ve seen the numbers.

Sekou Smith, NBA.comI’m going with Dwight because I think he’s more of a specialist in that regard and because he’s more inclined to focus on that part of his game than he is any other. LeBron’s clearly capable of doing whatever he sets his mind to. And I think he’s a far more versatile defender, meaning he can guard any one of five different positions on a given night. A healthy, motivated and defensive-minded Dwight, however, is the rim-protecting, game-changing monster we saw in Orlando a few seasons ago. That’s the kind of player you can surround with average individual defenders and craft a stellar defensive outfit (just ask Stan Van Gundy).

Lang Whitaker, NBA.com’s All Ball blog: Dwight. As versatile and powerful as LeBron can be, with the ability to defend basically every position on the court, I still believe a healthy Dwight is the most dominant defender in the NBA. Not only can he control the boards on both ends and block enough shots to rank among the league leaders, but his presence covers for all sorts of defensive inefficiencies from his teammates on nearly every possession. I’m pretty sure there’s some Schuhmann stat to back all this up. I’d still take LeBron as the better all-around player, but a dominant big man is the rarest of things these days.

Stefanos Triantafyllos, NBA Greece: LeBron is a defensive machine, the only player on planet Earth that can guard from a point guard to a center and not break a sweat. But, defense goes hand-in-hand with the “5” spot. Blocking, rebounding, putting a body in the lane and a hand up for a deflection are the everyday tasks for a big guy. Basketball is played in a fashion that the guy in the middle is the cornerstone of defense, so my answer has to be Dwight Howard, a player that when aggressive, becomes a game changer solely with his defensive presence in the key.

Davide Chinellato, NBA ItaliaMy money is on LeBron here. Yes, Dwight at his best is a blocking machine and an intimidating presence under the rim, but LeBron can guard basically all opponents and simply erase them from the floor. What he did to then-MVP Derrick Rose in 2011 East Semis is still fresh in the mind. And while Howard is a great defender only under the rim, LeBron can chase his opponent around the floor.

Karan Madhok, NBA IndiaNeither. Although both Dwight (3x DPOY) and LeBron (5x All Defensive First Team) are game-changing defenders, both of them will be expected to play more advanced roles for their teams beyond just focusing on defense, and their energies -– particularly in LeBron’s case –- will have to be shared among other matters on court. I predict that the Defensive Player of the Year will be someone that will solely concentrate on terrorizing opponents on the defensive end and will be the linchpin of a historically good defense: the Bulls’ Joakim Noah. Noah will spearhead Coach Thibodeau’s trademark defensive schemes and will be rewarded for it by the end of the year.

66 Comments

  1. PWest says:

    With all due respect to Lebron, Aren’t we forgetting a few people in the race? Marc Gasol won it last year, who says he won’t win it again? Obviously there are more people then just these two that can win the award. say Miami win another championshipship, won’t it be a bit ridiculous that Lebron will probably win MVP, Finals MVP AND Defensive player of the year? Him winning about half of the major awards that are given out at the end of the season would be just a little bit ridiculous. I know for me it would start making the NBA’s award system seem like a bit of a joke. Lebron is a great defender but there are people just as good as defending as he is, Dwight Howard is one of those people.

  2. Tzur says:

    I don’t think LeBron is strong enough to take it, Howard on the other hand, I think will reclaim the title now that he is playing for Houston

  3. Mo says:

    The award would have to go to Dwight. Lebron’s defense has to do more with specializing and focusing on the specific star (ie. the scoring star of the team), but Dwight has the role of protecting anything that breaks through the perimeter. If you realistically look at how the offense will is impacted by both players, you see Lebron trapping an individual while Dwight stays planted and defending anything that comes his direction. Now one has to ask whether the lockdown of the star or defending the 8 foot radius near the hoop is more important and the answer should be Dwight. One lowers the efficiency of the star, but the other eases the duties of perimeters, therefore Dwight is the more impacting defender
    .

  4. Chris Agrella says:

    If Marc gasol can win the award, then based on the performance I saw in Portland last Sunday, deandre Jordan has got to be a consideration this season.doc rivers has really gotten Jordan in a form that is much better now than marc gasol was all last year, but only time will tell.

  5. dj jesus says:

    In my opinion i think lebron james isnthe best nba player in the world. I believe he could ball any body up even kobe, dutant, carmelo, george. And granger. Thats y he has 4 mvp champ awards and has one 2 championship for rhe miami heat. Miami has made him super famous all around the world. He also always in the men sportsmenship magazine just saying.

  6. Karlo Garcia says:

    Dwight Howard wins the DPOY because of what his role is. Centre’s job is to defend.

  7. Jimksi says:

    with all do respect voor the 3x DPOY… Lebron has been doing a lot of things sinds he has been in Miami.

    Next to the fact that he is able to defend every position, he is able to shift a game with his defence. Howard is a BIG atlatic player and can defenetly have a lot of impact with his defence but doenst lebron has more of that with everything he does?
    Not beeing a lebron fan here but he should have won it last year!

  8. Kobeallday says:

    The one thing i don’t get is how Serge Ibacka is never mentioned in this conversation!!!!

  9. Jay Ar Dave says:

    What is the title for the background music?? I love it to download.. somebody knew it??

  10. LebronShaqfan says:

    Lebron has the ability to win all of the awards given including Coach of the Year! Yes I said it! This guy plays over 40 minutes every night, gives you a double double or a triple double, and will chase down a race horse to block a shot! After all the years he was carrying his teams with no real help, everyone continued to criticize him for not showing up in the playoffs or the finals. After 82 games and the post season this young man had the right to be tired physically and mentally. Now he is on a better team and he still is the MVP on offense and defense. So to all the end of the year voters ” If he earn the DPOY award

  11. J says:

    I think lebron james will win it by a nose

  12. Jimmy Buckets says:

    I on that Noah train….DPOY. Jimmy butler too

  13. Darryl says:

    ahh who cares about dwight i dont see any final highlights of him blocking anyone?? he maybe good but your only looking at blocks lebron has all aspects of defense. we;; thats what i think long live the king!!!!!

  14. TruFan says:

    It wasn’t a block. It was a block and then a score. People always stop the video after the amazing block. But, don’t forget. After standing there for about five seconds, he hauled down to the other end and scored! A four point play! Amazing!!

  15. Vitor says:

    None of them…lebron will never win over dwight and they are not better than Iblocka, Nene is getting back at his good game, KG too has a good chance now at a great team that brooklin became with that roster, and some others can get the best defensive, STOP TRYING TO MAKE LEBRON THE PLAYER OF THE GALAXY THAT NO ONE CAN BEAT HIM!!!!

  16. No Dwight Block Highlight? says:

    “What he did to then-MVP Derrick Rose in 2011 East Semis is still fresh in the mind.”

    – What Paul George did to then-MVP LeBron in the 2013 ECF is even fresher in my mind.

    If Dwight returns to form, and leads the Rockets to a top 5 defense, he’ll be the best defensive player in the league imo.

  17. James says:

    That is great, but you need to read this, click to see: http://www.Paynized.com/?invite=44274

  18. LaughingattheseHATERS says:

    All these haters just talking smh ! Why don’t you guys watch the game instead of talking ! Dwight is prolly gonna win it if healthy, but LeBron is up there with defense ! He shuts down Rose on 2011, shuts down Parker(0pts in 2ndhalf) this finals, key blocks on Duncan and Splitter this finals, makes Durant struggles, he can guard 1-5 positions like no one can ! He can’t just focus on defense cause he does a lot of things, but if he only focus on defense? He’ll definitely win it, plus he’s the voice of offense and defense come on now haters ! #3peat

  19. RAWR! says:

    that’s amazing now see this….

    http://www.Paynized.com/?invite=42997

  20. RyeBal says:

    LeBron. He is a Beast Defensively.

  21. marty says:

    Both are dominant (DH when heathly) it ain’t one against the other unless they meet in the Finals.

  22. Ryan says:

    Niether them will get it Dcoward will get injured an james will have a bad season an it will be D Rose or D jordan

  23. Go Spurs Go says:

    I’m going with LeBron on this one. Even though I hate Miami (because I’m a Spurs fan) I still think LeBron is a dominant player both on offense and defense. In my opinion Dwight isn’t very good

  24. Boca_Fan says:

    Who picked Howard to compete with LeBron anyway?????? HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. Boca_Fan says:

    Howard vs LeBron???? HaHaHaHaHa!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    LeBron = Best on the court, and off

    Howard = Crybaby, the memory of what he did in Orlando dropped him so many levels, no honor in him, there are so many others ahead of him. He’s a joke.

    I agree MVP takes it all!!!!!!

  26. Troy says:

    How can you compare James with Howard. James can defend every player in NBA from Rose to Howard. How about Howard. Can he defend any quick player like Rose no way. James is strong enough to defend a center fast enough to defend any guard.

  27. TheAll-Star136 says:

    DPOY of 2014 will be LEBRON JAMES. Although you don’t see it much in the stats, his leadership in the defensive end helped the Heat win games.

  28. Jim Muncy says:

    Good question. Both are game changers at the defensive end. LeBron can defend anyone. Whomever is the offensive challenge on the other team, Lebron is the answer. Impressive. However, I have to go with Howard. Probably because I love Dwight Howard and probably also because, as a weekend warrior on the court who has always anchored the middle, I like what Steve Aschburner said, “…a big man’s defense, a.k.a., rim protection, is more valuable than any one perimeter player’s.” Howard by an inch.

  29. NBALogics says:

    The question then becomes what will Lebron have to give up? I know he want’s to be like Mike and get that MVP & DPOY in the same yr. but in Todays league will they give it to him? Idk and tbh if you think about it MVP means you are the most valuable on both ends of the floor + your a leader so I’d rather take the MVP over some DPOY award.

  30. Kimi says:

    Howard, respect to James

  31. John Doe says:

    The season didn’t even start and you put names out? WTF? I sure don’t like any of those, so why not pick a name that is not all over the news every day?

  32. Justin says:

    LeBron loves stats. So he will have his numbers up on the defensive end, to the point where the voters will have no choice. He’s campaigning for the award along with his coach. You may as well put his name on the trophy no, he’s put his mind to it.

  33. No Regrets says:

    Respect to LBJ’s defense, he’s a great defensive presence, but

    a) He cannot guard 5 positions people – He can’t guard centers, or big 4’s and he can’t chase around PG’s for more than a few minutes. Get real please.

    b) He’s not the best defensive player out there, nor is he a player on whom you’ll base your defense. Heat defense is great, but doesn’t rely on LBJ.

    Peace

    • Bill says:

      I totally agree. Lebron’s ability to guard 5 positions is the most overhyped thing. Last year against Indy, he couldn’t guard David West or Hibbert.

      • rose says:

        I think LeBron did a good job on David west and Hibbert but he is too small to keep west or Hibbert from getting offensive rebound from their misses.
        Secondly some post moves are just unstoppable but I do think that james does not challenge half of the shots in order to avoid foul trouble.

    • anonymous says:

      lebron can in fact defend pg for more than a few mins. but you’re right about the pf/c he cannot guard it

    • Lebronjamesthebest says:

      LEBRON IS A BEAST…. END OF STORY

    • Sammy says:

      I am a total Bron fan, but have to keep it real. Guarding all 5 positions is waaaay over hyped. The question is not whether or no he can “guard” 5 positions. The real questions is can he “shut down” the players in all 5 positions. The answer is clearly NO. Not hating–just keeping it real.

    • Jimksi says:

      A its not about beeing able to defende every 4 and 5. It’s about the face that he could defend a lot of them.
      Haters always hate…

      B. a good defensief team has the hole package and ralies on everyone. That’s why that almost evert DPOY has been with a Top defensief team and not the Bobcats loooking teams…
      Haters still hate. Right? proof it.. :)

  34. Lebronjamesthebest says:

    It could go either way. Lebron can run the floor the whole game and block whoever he wants unlike Dwight but then again lebron fouls alot less than Dwight which means more block fouls for Dwight

    • rose says:

      you wrong as long as LeBron is the MVP or the runner up for MVP and also a challenger for the scoring title he will never win defensive player of the year. The voters will not allow such a thing. There are only a few individual awards and no body will take two of them home including the king.

  35. i think the prayer of year. so keep watching!

  36. celentano says:

    lebron dpoy?forget it,i dont see lebron protecting the paint all the time like dwight! just some defence effort&some blocks ain’t enuf to be the best! he cant keep tony p&other like lillard,timmy,kobe,melo,rose,granger,small guards… from scoring.
    kobe in his prime was a monster at that time,he’s less taller than bron bron and blocked tha tallest, most dangerous players there where around!ask dwight&many others that where victims from mamba!check it on you tube if you got the guts.
    the mamba period was much more spectacular,entertaining than lebron ever did!mamba was from another dimension and has nothing to do with jordan,he created his blocking skills and they where monsta for his height & weight.remember last all-star even at his veteran age mamba putted good d+blocked lebron to win for the westcoast,even because all-star has no meaning mamba has the hart from a real warrior.very biased sekou!

    • jhbh says:

      see nba finals, bron blocking splitter and duncan multiple times. plus bron is a sf, a perimeter player its not his job to be a rim protector

    • Lebronjamesthebest says:

      Nope lebron is better and guess what he keeps getting better…. It’s scary. Lebron does it all and yes he can chase poit guards for more than 2 min u crazy?! He can play a whole game non stop if he had too

      • Kome the Black dumba says:

        Dellusion fans at it’s best moment! Whole game non stop? I bet he’ll die of dehydration or better yet make him into a robot! Non-stop! HA!

    • Pakyaw says:

      @celentano, stop living on the past my friend.. We all know your god Kobe is one of all time great.. But no matter what Kobe do ,he will always 2nd to the shadow of Jordan ..you know why? Just like Mj said”he stole my move”..

    • michael says:

      Lebron has 776 career blocks in 873 career games, .89 per game while Kobe has 763 carrer blocks in 1459 career games, .52 per game so I am not sure why you would compare Kobe favorably to Lebron when it comes to shot blocking

    • miguelamor22 says:

      Wow… get off Kobe’s dilsnik son! You KB fanboys kill me! He’s one of the all time greats no doubt, but yall are like some scientologists, blind to the facts and not willing to listen to logic or reason. Not stats, opponent testimony, not even testimony from the man’s own coach can convince you once you’ve made up your mind that Kobe is the greatest of all time, best defender ever, better shotblocker than LBJ… in reality, has Kobe even averaged a HALF a block a game for his career? I’m not so sure buddy. The funny thing is you wrote this big fat paragraph professing your undying love for a player that has nothing to do with this particular blog. Go home and “play” with your Kobe action figure.

  37. Romeo Aguirre says:

    If lebron was to win it he would have to shut down every single player he guards and at that guard the best player on the other team I’m sorry but Kobe, Carmelo, Durant, Ganger, Goerge, and ect. Will always get there points and that will be THE ONLY WAY he should get and well I just don’t see that happening