SIXTH MAN OF THE YEAR: J.R. SMITH (4 votes)
Other players receiving votes: Jamal Crawford (1)
– See description of each vote below –
Fern Rea: JR Smith
The New York Knicks have had a successful season despite a number of notable injuries to key players. Despite the injuries, the Knicks won 53 games and earned the number two spot in the East. One of the main reasons is J.R. Smith who’s consistently come off the bench and been an explosive scorer all year long. He has the ability to create his own shot and has unlimited range. His scoring output of 18.1 points per game provides the ideal compliment to Carmelo Anthony. Smith may only shooting 42 percent from the field, but one-third of his shots come from beyond the arc where he shoots a respectable 35.6 percent. With that, I give Smith the edge over Jamal Crawford, Jarrett Jack and Ryan Anderson for the 6th man award.
Caleb Cottrell: Jamal Crawford
This is also another tough one. There are a few worthy candidates that include: Kevin Martin, J.R. Smith, Jarrett Jack, and Ryan Anderson. Over the last month Smith has certainly been the Sixth Man of the Year award, but this is a season-long award. Crawford has been consistent for the whole season, albeit his shooting percentage this month has been suspect. Coming off of the bench, Crawford is leading the Clippers second unit with averages of 16.4 points, 2.5 assists, and a steal per game. His leadership has ultimately helped his team reach their first 50-plus win season.
Skyler Gilbert: JR Smith
As someone who thinks very highly of advanced statistics and efficiency metrics, it burns a hole in my heart to pick a “chucker” like JR Smith – who shoots just 42 percent from the field – to win this award. But there hasn’t been a break-through candidate in the league like James Harden was last season and JR Smith has paid huge dividends for the Knicks down the stretch. During the Knicks’ recent 15-1 stretch, Smith averaged 23.5 PPG and 6.4 RPG. Smith’s recent hot tear was important to make sure that the Knicks have home court advantage in a potential Knicks-Pacers second round match-up.
Chris Shellcroft: J.R. Smith
Please, no more John Starks comparisons. Yes, both are streaky Knicks with an all-or-nothing Vernon Maxwell quality. Yes, Smith also has bad case of the Nate Robinsons (annoying frontrunneritis). All I know is when Smith is rolling he’s among the most indefensible men in the game. For a guy known for his inconsistency this season was by far the most consistent of Smith’s career. Has he figured it out? No. Not possible. But Smith is a big reason why the Knicks elevated to the top tier of the East.
Daniel Nicks: JR Smith
Until late March this was a three-man race between JR Smith, Jamal Crawford, and Jarrett Jack – then Smith exploded and the Knicks landed the second seed in the East.
–Continue for Coach of the Year–