Thursday , Mar , 24 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Patrick Ewing thinks Dwight Howard is ‘MVP of the league’

Howard posts up, shoots 60 percent from the field, blocks 2.43 shots per game, pulls down 14.3 rebounds. Practically perfect, except for occasional problems — aside from Wednesday night — at the foul line. "The MVP of the league," said Ewing, the last dominant center around here and an Orlando assistant. "Everybody’s talking about Derrick Rose, but they need to start putting Dwight there, too. Without him, who knows where we’d be?"

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Big men often have each other’s back. They have to, as they’re part of the same fraternity nobody else gets or understands.

Perhaps Patrick Ewing, an Orlando Magic assistant coach and Hall of Fame center with the New York Knicks, is right. Perhaps Dwight Howard, a fellow center and the Magic’s superstar, deserves greater consideration for Most Valuable Player.

Howard is averaging an impressive 24 points, 14 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per night. His Magic are fourth in the Eastern Conference with a 46-26 record, despite making a pair of blockbuster trades throughout the season.

There are a few things holding Howard back from winning MVP:

1) For several reasons, Howard gets overlooked. Orlando is one of the NBA’s smaller markets; big, superhero type centers often get taken for granted by MVP voters; dunks aside, Howard’s offensive game isn’t especially pretty or polished.

2) Sorry Ewing, but Derrick Rose is also having a terrific year. His numbers are on par with Howard, and his Chicago Bulls have won more games than the Magic.

Rose’s Bulls are playing together, having fun, and are the feel-good story of the league. Don’t overlook how this influences MVP voters.

3) Howard’s biggest problem may be on his sideline. Coach Stan Van Gundy is a media hog. Instead of focusing on Howard’s accomplishments, reporters are anticipating Van Gundy’s next off-the-cuff comment.

Ewing had to stick up for Howard. He works with Howard and is a former member of the big man fraternity. That doesn’t means he’s right, though.

–Oly Sandor.

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