Dwight Howard To Be Named NBA's Top Defender For Third Straight Season

Dwight Howard will on Monday be named the winner of the 2010-11 NBA Defensive Player of the Year award for the third straight season, the Orlando Sentinel reports. Howard had finished the previous two seasons leading the league in both rebounding and blocks, but slipped to No. 2 in rebounds per game (behind Kevin Love) and No. 4 in blocks this season.

But the work Howard did to salvage an otherwise porous Orlando Magic roster and, along with coach Stan Van Gundy, earn the team the league's No. 6 defense is highly commendable.

Howard is the first player in the history of the Defensive Player award to win it three consecutive seasons. Ben Wallace won four DPOYs in the span of five years, with Ron Artest of all people breaking up the run in 2004. No guard has won the award since Gary Payton in 1996; guards -- Sidney Moncrief, Alvin Robertson, Michael Cooper and Michael Jordan -- claimed five of the first six DPOYs in the history of the award, but can claim only Payton's victory since.

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