One of the prominent storylines of the 2012-2013 season in the NBA has been the emergence of several players as upper-tier sixth men. Part of this emergence is due to the James Harden trade that made Harden a starter and gave other players a shot at winning the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year Award.
Early in the season, there were two clear candidates that would be competing with one another for the award: Jamal Crawford and J.R. Smith. Both guys started off the first few months of the season playing phenomenally. After a while, though, Golden State Warriors guard Jarrett Jack began to insert himself into the conversation for the award.
Through the first 55 games of the season Jack was absolutely tearing it up for the Warriors off of the bench. In 29.6 minutes per game he averaged 13.7 points, 5.9 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game and shot 46.9 percent from the floor and 42.4 percent from long range. Every time that Jack would come off the bench for Golden State, he was having an immediate impact on the game and in the box score. However, Jack hasn’t been playing like the best sixth-man in professional basketball or anything close to that.
Over his last 12 games Jack has played 29.4 minutes per game, just 0.2 minutes less than the first part of the season. Despite playing relatively the same amount of minutes, Jack’s production has fallen to averaging just 10.8 points, 3.8 assists and 2.4 rebounds per game and shooting only 36.8 percent from the field and 32 percent from beyond-the-arc over his last 12 games.
This isn’t a trend that’s going to follow Jack around for the rest of his career or anything. Jack has established himself as a quality player in this league. However, his performance over the past few weeks has been disappointing, especially considering how incredibly well he was playing earlier in the season.
With this recent stretch of play, Jack has probably lost any chance that he had of winning the Sixth Man of the Year award. One of the things a player has to do to win awards like that is be consistent and Jack has been anything but that over the entire season.