Dwight Howard has MVP-type month

After a scorching February, the Magic center is making his case for MVP

Updated: February 28, 2011, 1:52 PM ET
By Kevin Pelton | Basketball Prospectus
Dwight HowardFernando Medina/Getty ImagesNo one has played better in February than Dwight Howard.

Each Monday throughout the NBA season, ESPN Insider will investigate the latest trends in the league. Basketball Prospectus' Kevin Pelton is keeping an eye on all the numbers and will have a first look at how players, teams and the league as a whole are evolving.

Trending player: Dwight Howard, C, Orlando Magic

Quietly, the Magic's center has been climbing the league's statistical leaderboards. Howard's 26.61 PER now ranks him just decimal points behind NBA leader LeBron James of the Miami Heat (26.78). By Basketball Prospectus' wins above replacement metric, Howard has been better on a per-minute basis this season, though James has provided slightly more total value because of his minutes advantage.

To read just how good Dwight Howard has been over the past few weeks, plus how the Cavs are turning their fortunes around and just how often a deadline deal makes an immediate impact on a team during the final stretch of the season, you must be an ESPN Insider.