Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard served as a guest writer on ESPN.com's NBA Awards Watch this week. The defending Defensive Player of the Year was asked to rank the contenders for this year's award and here's his list:
1. Josh Smith, Hawks
2. Ron Artest, Lakers
3. Brendan Haywood, Wizards
4. Kendrick Perkins, Celtics
5. Dwight Howard, Magic
A classy move to rank Perkins one spot in front of him; one contributing factor: Howard has been limited to a total of 14 points in two meetings against Boston this season (he averages 17.4 points per game).
Howard writes of Perkins: "He is a really good low-post defender. He knows how to use his body to his advantage."
While it's highly unlikely Perkins will earn an All-Star nod when reserves are announced this evening, it's worth noting that not only is he considered in the upper echelon of defensive players by his peers, Perkins is leading the NBA in field goal percentage (63.3 percent). All-star or not, he's certainly developed into one of the best young big men in the league.