Sixth Man of the Year rankings (Nov. 24)
Find the sixth man of the year preseason edition here.
Now that the season is about a month old, it’s time to see where the Sixth Man of the Year candidates rank among each other. Some teams have shifted their sixth man to the starting squad, and some teams had some different players emerge from their bench squads. There are some new faces, old faces, and teammates on the newest installment of the sixth man rankings.
First of all, here are the stats per 36 minutes for all of the current candidates:
Here are the per game averages for each of the top five candidates:
1. Isaiah Thomas (Previous Ranking: 4)
Isaiah Thomas looks like he has the best shot so far to go home with this trophy at the end of the year. He was a solid starter for Sacramento and now he’s producing in a sixth man role for the Suns. Thomas has been able to provide the much needed scoring spark for the Suns when the starters can’t get it going. When Phoenix played the 76ers, the starters were struggling to score. Enter Isaiah Thomas. He went off for 17 points during part of the first and half of the second quarter. After Thomas started knocking down any shot at will, the rest of the team’s confidence was restored and they went on to destroy the 76ers. Look for Thomas to continue putting up big numbers for the bench squad.
2. Jamal Crawford (1)
The reigning Sixth Man of the Year checks in at number two. Jamal Crawford has been up to his usual antics on the court and he even got the start for a couple games as the Clippers tried to figure out their wing player struggles. Crawford’s scoring so far is down from last season, but that will happen when the team is experimenting with new rotations. That being said, Crawford is actually distributing the ball more and he’s shooting a better percentage from the floor than last season. It’s too early to tell if he’s going to stay around the same scoring numbers, but we have all come to expect at least 17 or 18 points per game out of Crawford and he’s definitely still capable of doing just that.
3. Louis Williams (Not Ranked)
Louis Williams is back on a team where he can comfortably play his own style of game. He fits well with the way that Toronto wants to play and he provides a very much needed scoring threat off of the bench. There has been a few occasions so far this year where Williams ignited a Toronto comeback or run. One of the biggest runs that Williams started was the game tying run in the start of the fourth quarter against the Orlando Magic. Plus, Williams exploded for 36 points against LeBron and the Cavaliers which helped lead Toronto to 110-93 win. Teams will have to constantly worry about the Toronto backcourt, especially with the firepower of Lou Williams coming in to relieve Kyle Lowry.
4. Gerald Green (NR)
Now, you might be scratching your head when you see Gerald Green at number four on this list. One thing that looks odd is having two teammates on the list for Sixth Man of the Year because normally there is only one Sixth Man. Although, in Phoenix, Gerald Green comes in and plays almost the same amount of minutes as Isaiah Thomas. Throw in the athleticism and big momentum creating plays of Green, and you have another great Sixth Man candidate. Some of his numbers are down a little from last season, but that would be the product of getting less minutes due to the arrival of some new players. Green is still averaging 14 points and 3 rebounds per game while shooting 43 percent from the floor. The Suns have a lethal 1-2 punch on the bench, and they’re only going to get better with time.
5. Taj Gibson (3)
Another name from the award race last year, Taj Gibson, comes in at number five due to a seemingly lesser role and some injury troubles. Gibson is still a key component to this Bulls team, but with the arrival of Pau Gasol and some rookies, it looks like Gibson doesn’t have to be the same player he was last season. He was taking more shots last year and depended upon to be lead the bench squad in scoring. Now, the Bulls have Brooks, McDermott, Mirotic, and others to help relieve the scoring pressure on Gibson. He’s still playing at a high level, and shooting a better percentage than last year, but he’s not the sole source of the spark from the bench.
Reggie Jackson (2)
Nick Young (5)