Los Angeles Clippers guard Jamal Crawford has won the NBA’s Sixth Man Award for the second time in his career, according to sources familiar with the voting.
Sources told ESPN.com that Crawford was originally scheduled to have received the award at Staples Center on Tuesday night before the Clippers’ Game 5 victory over the Golden State Warriors, but the ceremony was pushed back in the wake of the Donald Sterling scandal.
Crawford also won the award with Atlanta in 2010. He’s the fourth player to win it twice and the first to win with different teams. Crawford led all sixth men in scoring this season, as well as all players who logged at least 1,000 minutes off the bench, by averaging 18.6 points a game.
As a starter in place of either Chris Paul or J.J. Redick for 23 games, Crawford hiked that scoring average to 20.6 points.
“He’s deserving of it,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “I don’t think there’s a more lethal weapon in the league that you could bring off the bench. The fact that he’s done more than that, to me, is why he’s won it. He’s done this in the past over the past couple of years where he’s been so good offensively but I actually think he won it because voters saw him doing other things for the team — playing defense, running the team at the point guard position when Chris Paul was out at times. He’s just been the perfect utility player for the team. He’s been awesome.” ESPN
Crawford has been instant offense boost for the Clippers all year in his role. Similar to Man Ginobili of the San Antonio Spurs, he’s also a crucial part of the team’s crunch-time lineups. It also helps that his flashy play makes him a highlight waiting to happen.
He’s been underappreciated for much of his career, but he’s finally with a team that has a legitimate chance to go deep into the postseason. Crawford is going to be one of the first players fans given credit if the Clippers advance deep into the playoffs, as he should be. – AL