As we did recently with the MVP, today we will review the list of players who start the season as candidates to be crowned Sixth Man of the Year. This, however, is a somewhat more unpredictable prize, since the role of certain players is not always clear and it is possible that various factors make some of those mentioned not even end up acting as substitutes.
However, it is worth reviewing some names that seem to be important in the second unit of their respective teams. This is a highly valued role recently and that certain players have begun to embrace above starting, and the list of players being considered for this award is unquestionably high. Let’s go with her.
We start, of course, with the current champion of the award. After years of finding his place for years, Clarkson fit the Jazz like a glove since his arrival, and it didn’t take long for him to become a scoring machine from the bench. Already in his first year, in which he arrived in the middle of the year, he left great sensations, but it was last season when he finished exploding.
With 18.4 points per game, the shooting guard was essential for the Utah team to finish the regular league as the best team. Clarkson even signed two 40-point performances, and since the team structure hasn’t changed much, he is expected to continue to fill the same role. Of course, at the same level, he is a clear candidate for a repeat award.
After his third place of the season, the point guard is another of those who seem to start with options to fight the award. After a difficult years due to injuries, Rose has managed to establish himself as an effective scorer with the ability to revitalize the team from the bench, a role that it seems he will return to this time. In addition, it has the advantage of being in a media focus like New York, which can always indirectly weigh on the votes.
Still, one thing that may weigh him down is the arrival of Kemba Walker, who is expected to fill a starting point guard job with more stripes than Elfrid Payton did last year. And, despite starting from the bench, Rose was for practical purposes one of the Knicks’ references, and it was even quite common for him to end up playing more minutes than Payton. Will the same happen this year? Will Thibodeau find a way not to make you lose weight?
It is not entirely clear if the German will be a substitute or not, but if we take as a reference quintet the one that the Celtics wore in their first and so far only friendly, Schröder aims to return to the role of sixth man in which he was so prominent in other stages of his career. After a season with the Lakers in which, as a starter, he did not live up to expectations at certain times, the point guard wants to redeem himself in Boston, and doing so with a Best Sixth Man award would be a good form.
Dennis was already second in 2019, a year in which the award went to Montrezl Harrell but in which the German would also have been a good option. With his 18.9 points he was one of the pillars of a Thunder that surprised locals and strangers, and showed a mettle and maturity that he had not seen in his time in Atlanta and that at times he missed in Los Angeles last year . It has been an addition that has gone somewhat unnoticed, but of course Boston may have been one of the names to follow in exchange for a fairly low price.
The reinforcements arrived in Chicago make the point guard aim to become part of the second unit again. After occupying that role in his season of rookie And going on to be a starter in almost every game last season, this might seem like a step backwards in White’s career, but the truth is that he will surely have more options to show his offensive skills than he would have in the starting five.
In fact, the sixth man role promises very important in these Bulls, who have several scorers in the starting five and who need players to keep up the offensive rhythm when the main references rest. That will be one of the elements that determine whether Chicagoans are ready to truly make a leap in the Eastern Conference, and Coby could win big for the prize if he manages to fill it.
New to Toronto, Dragic aims to be one of the pivotal men in Nick Nurse’s second unit. The Slovenian had been filling that role more and more frequently in the Heat without reducing his performance one iota, and his arrival in Canada in exchange for Lowry will give him a new opportunity to continue doing so. We are talking about a player of an undeniable class, and whose precision and intelligence make him add whenever he is on the court.
It is true that he is not in his best season, but this is a statement that we can apply to many men in Miami. This new change of scene could help him bring out his talent to command the backups again, something that would get him to put his name on the candidate list, especially if the Raptors have a good season.
The case of the Australian is truly curious. Under normal conditions, he would undoubtedly be one of Nash’s second unit benchmarks, bringing his usual spark and scoring ability to a star-studded team in their starting lineup. But of course, at this point in the movie about saying that the situation in Brooklyn is not exactly normal.
And is that Kyrie Irving continues to refuse to be vaccinated, which would prevent him from playing the games played at the Barclays Center due to the regulations of the city of New York. This would mean that the starting point guard position would be vacant in at least 41 games, a position that Mills could fill, which, regardless of the repercussions it would have for the team, would complicate his aspirations for the award. However, we will have to wait and see what happens with this situation and who ends up replacing Irving if he finally chooses not to administer the vaccine.
After falling in love with the league with his sensational 2020 playoffs, Herro arrives after a course in which he has left a rather bittersweet taste. When his final explosion was expected, the guard was a bit half, losing performance with respect to the previous postseason and causing many to begin to get out of his car.
However, it seems undeniable that the talent has it, and perhaps this third season in the league, already without so many lights on, is the one that finishes consecrating him. His multiple scoring resources and impudence make him a classic sixth-man profile, and in a Heat that have reinforced their starting roster with the arrival of Lowry, he would sit wonderfully with an impulse from the bench that balances both quintets. The Floridians showed enormous confidence in him when they resisted including him in the negotiations for Harden, and now has come his time to show that there were reasons for it.
We close the list with Brunson, a player who has been doing merits since his arrival in Dallas to gain more recognition than he receives. Despite being a substitute for an untouchable figure like Luka Doncic, the point guard has managed to gain weight in the team based on great performances, some of them with decisive contributions in the game. clutch, to the point that it is worth being considered among the candidates. At the end of the day, he comes from averaging 12.6 points and 3.5 assists per game, and taking a slight level jump would get his name to ring for the award.
One of Jalen’s great strengths is his mettle and decision-making, which has made him an enormously reliable player since his arrival. Last year he sublimated this by signing 52.3% in field goals and 40.2% in triples, and if he continues with this development of the game and maturity he can become a fundamental pillar of these Mavericks despite the fact that they are other names the ones that get the most attention.
(Cover photo: Alex Goodlett / Getty Images)