By the looks of things, the only award a Los Angeles Clippers player has a chance of bringing home is Sixth Man of the Year via Jamal Crawford.
Due to injuries, Crawford has started in an abnormal amount of games this season, but he’s still eligible for the award, and looking at his numbers compared to his competitions, his chances are high. Doc Rivers, his head coach, thinks he’s the best possible candidate for Sixth Man and now he has another high-ringing endorsement: from the soon-to-be Most Valuable Player in Kevin Durant.
“Jamal is one of those guys that have done a great job for Clippers,” Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant said. “I love Jamal. He definitely deserves Sixth Man of the Year.”
via Alex Kennedy’s Sulia | Sulia
— Jamal Crawford (@JCrossover) April 13, 2014
Looking at the recent winners of the awards, points per game weighs heavy when determining a winner. An example of that could be J.R. Smith‘s winning of the award last season. His scoring output in the last month of the season combined with recency bias helped him win the award. While Crawford has been dealing with injury lately, he sure has his competition beat in the scoring section of the category.
On the season, Crawford is averaging 18.5 points per game, his highest output since the 2008-09 season where he split time between the New York Knicks and Golden State Warriors. As a reserve, he’s averaged 17.4 in 44 games and that number increases to 20.6 as a starter for 23 games. Having to step into and fill J.J. Redick‘s role was huge for both Crawford and the Clippers. They missed Redick’s shooting and floor-presence, but Jamal did a great job by increasing his scoring output. Crawford has scored 20+ points 23 times this season and 30+ points five times this season including a 31-point, 11-assist output as a reserve, a NBA first.
But for Crawford, winning this award isn’t his ultimate goal. That would likely be a NBA championship, but that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t mind bringing home the second Sixth Man award of his career.
“It would be a wonderful honor,” Crawford said on winning the award via Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders. “Whenever you can get an award, I think it means that your team is successful and you’re having a pretty good season with that. I’m not against it by any means at all, but I’m not playing for it. I’m just playing to win, and that’s the only thing that really matters to me.”
“Everything else that comes with it, I’ll take it in stride. It would be a total team accomplishment. No matter what awards you win in the season, all that matters is winning the championship.”