Top 15 6th Men In The NBA This Season
Who MadeThe Top 15 Sixth Men List?
I used a picture of James Harden for this slideshow because Harden is the epitome of what a sixth man should be. A sixth man comes off the bench not just because someone is tired but because the offense needs someone who can create a spark for the team either offensively or defensively.
Every season one or two players catch our attention with the way they can create for themselves as well as their teammates when they are put into the game. Every season one or two players have stats that jump off of the box scores and attest to their impact. The sixth man for most teams is overlooked and under-appreciated but the players in this slideshow are the exact opposite. The players in this slideshow make a difference and demand attention when they are on the court. The sixth man usually defines hard work and practices harder than most so that when he has the opportunity to get on the court he can make the most out of the opportunity.
The sixth man also offers something else, he offers the coach a predicament every game. The sixth man is deemed that when he is the go-to guy off of the bench and he usually makes the head coach wonder about whether he should start him or not. Harden flirted with that line during the entire season. Nobody would have been surprised if he was named a starter and yet nobody was surprised when he won the sixth man of the year award. He epitomized everything that the position requires and it could be said that he went as far as to define new boundaries for sixth men all over the league to define.
With all of that said, let's take a look at the top 15 sixth men that the league has to offer.
15. Spencer Hawes
Spencer Hawes is always flirting with a starting position but with Lavoy Allen and Thaddeus Young starting at the forward and center position Hawes is usually the first one off the bench. His numbers of eight points and six boards per game aren't outstanding but they are good enough to land him on this list.
14. J.J. Redick
J.J. Redick has always been phenomenal off the bench and this season is no different. His accuracy from long range is a huge asset and a commodity that every team in the league wants to have coming in off the bench. Redick is averaging 13.4 points per game and shooting about 31 percent from beyond the arc so far. His minutes per game as well as his sharp-shooting skills are what land him on this list at number 14.
13. Corey Brewer
When you look through Corey Brewer's stat line you can see that he has no problem putting up the points and coming in to rest starter Andre Iguodala gives him the opportunity to cover the opponents high scorer. His defense and scoring ability land him at number 13.
12. Lou Williams
Lou Williams may have been a steal for the Atlanta Hawks. The 7th year shooting guard comes off the bench for sharp-shooter Kyle Korver and does a nice job taking over the role. So far this season Williams in averaging about 14 points per game and giving the young Atlanta Hawks another burst of youth in the frontcourt.
11. Jarrett Jack
Jarrett Jack won the game for the Golden State Warriors with a beautiful pass for an easy lay-up. That's why he is trusted with the job to back-up point guard Stephen Curry and control the floor. His stats of 10 points and 5 assists per game are modest but it's not always the quantity of the numbers but the result of them. Currently the Warriors are on a five game winning streak.
10. Vince Carter
Vince Carter has been around in the league for quite some time, unfortunately it is rare to see the high-flying "vinsanity" that we used to see. But wen though he isn't jumping over opponents heads he is still the first player off the bench. He backs-up Shawn Marion. His offensive skills combined with his defensive intensity puts this future Hall of Famer on the list.
9. Reggie Evans
Reggie Evans is no offensive weapon and His average of four points per game proves that. But Evan's worth doesn't always have to be on the offensive side of the ball, instead his specialty is on the defensive end where he can body opponents up and grab boards. His skills are boxing-out and setting hard picks on opponents. This down-and -dirty kind of play explains why he comes off the bench to give his team the edge on defense. His defense first approach to the game is what lands him on this list.
8. Ryan Anderson
Ryan Anderson won the Most Improved Player award last year for a reason. His points per game skyrocketed to 16 and his three point percentage hovered at nearly 40 percent. His accuracy from long range coupled with his body frame and versatility down low allow him to threaten defenses in multiple ways and that's why he is on the list.
7. Luis Scola
Luis Scola doesn't look that good in purple but his numbers do. He is averaging about 12 points per game while serving as the go-to guy off the bench and it shows because he is often featured in the starting line-up. When he is not starting, his presence in the sixth man conversation cannot be denied.
6. Ben Gordon
Ben Gordon was last seen sporting a Detroit Pistons jersey, so some may not know that he now serves as the number one guy off the bench for the Charlotte Bobcats. He is averaging more than he did in Detroit and gets to play next to first round picks Kemba Walker and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. His spark off the bench gives the Bobcats another way to score and while they still are not a playoff contending team it can't be denied that they are improving every season.
5. Manu Ginobili
Manu Ginobili is always in the conversation for sixth man of the year and for good reason. He has always been coach Gregg Popovich's go to man and the trio of him, Tim Duncan and Tony Parker have won four NBA Championships. His stats say he is only averaging 12 points per game but he can threaten opponents with his ability to take over games at any moment if he needs to. He lives to come off the bench and that is why he makes the list.
4. Kevin Martin
Kevin Martin has some big shoes to fill, and so far he is doing a good job of it. Averaging nearly 16 points per game in 30 minutes of play he is making a strong case for the fans to forget the name James Harden.
3. Ray Allen
Ray Allen has always been Mr. Clutch in my mind. He is the reason the Miami Heat brought him on board and he is the reason that they have won a few games that they should have lost. His sharp-shooting ability speaks for itself and his clutch gene should be something that LeBron James should take some notes on.
2. Jamal Crawford
Jamal Crawford is tough to put at number two but you'll see why I did. He is reason number one that the Los Angeles Clippers have the deepest bench in basketball. He is averaging more points (17) per game than starter Willie Green and he has the ability to create his own shot like great players should. It should come as no surprise to fans that Crawford lands at number two.
1. J.R. Smith
J.R. Smith gets the number one spot after last nights performance against the Los Angeles Lakers. When Carmelo Anthony went down Smith took the game into his hands and did everything he could to keep the lead out of reach. He had help of course and it makes the case of whether the New York Knicks have the best bench in the league (they certainly have the oldest). Nevertheless, Smith gets the number one spot because he can come in and support the team no matter who is on the floor. When he is hot nobody can stop him and when he is cold he is usually sitting.