Culture of Hoops

NBA Awards Roundtable: Sixth Man of the Year

Image courtesy of Keith Allison/Flickr.

Image courtesy of Keith Allison/Flickr.

The NBA postseason is upon us and that means the H&H crew got together to break down the NBA Awards so you don’t have to.

Dennis Velasco: Lou Gordon. Or is it Eric Williams? I don’t know, but it’ll be one of the two Rockets guards that take this award home. In fact, they should just make a pact now that whoever wins it, they’ll agree to cut the award in half straight down the middle and share it. They’ll probably just have to rock-paper-scissor it to see who wins first choice for the left or right side.

Dan Tria: I’m going way out of the normal candidates to give a vote to one of the NBA’s most interesting stories – James Johnson. Again, the Heat were abysmal halfway through the season, but Johnson emerged to stabilize the Heat’s second unit along with being an integral part to their resurgence. Usually the Sixth Man is given to a guy who is on his way to being a starter or has spent a career as a super-sub (here’s to you Rodney Rogers!) but Johnson’s increased involvement in the Heat’s lineup directly coincides with their amazing run in the second half of the season. Plus, the guy is literally a fighter who can roundhouse kick a basketball that gets stuck between the rim and the backboard. How do you vote against that?!

Mike Cortez: Kevin Durant sure left his imprint on this season. His decision to sign with the Warriors allowed Russ to chase the MVP and his injury allowed Andre Iguodala to return to IGGY. There were many factors as to why the Warriors got better once KD went down and among them was Iguodala playing superb. His numbers will never do justice what he does for the team. He’s the best defender after Draymond and serves as the de facto point guard late in games. His sacrifice to go to the bench last season was not properly awarded last season. When the Rockets traded for Lou Williams has knocked both Williams and Eric Gordon down a notch which sets Iggy up for the win.

Tyler Birss: This belongs to Eric Gordon. My status as a Golden State Warriors fan makes me want to choose Andre Iguodala, but as great as Iggy has been lately, he was rough early in the season. Gordon’s shooting numbers have dipped over the course of the year, that is to be sure. Nevertheless, he’s still putting up around 16 points per game and drilling over three triples on a game-to-game basis. Gordon has been an x-factor type of contributor for one of the best teams in the league, and for the first time since his rookie season, he’s played in over 70 games. Gordon is a feared shooter off the bench and deserves to be recognized.

Sonny Giuliano: Since the higher-ups here at Hardwood and Hollywood haven’t forbid any of us from picking co-winners for any awards, I feel comfortable with my choice of both Lou Williams AND Eric Gordon for Sixth Man of the Year. It’s hard to differentiate the two. When Lou Will was a Laker and Gordon was the sole off-the-bench gunslinger in Houston they were both putting up bigger numbers than they are now, but since the Rockets stole Williams at the trade deadline he and Gordon have been scoring 29 points per game combined. To me, that’s a collective effort worthy of some sort of recognition.

Dylan Hamann: Is there any valid arguments for this. He averaged 16.3 points a game, drained three-pointers all year long, made a ton of free throws, and combined with Harden lead the Rockets to the Playoffs on the back of being second leading scoring team in the NBA. Eric Gordon is the most worthy, and most logical pick.

Mike BitangaAndre Iguodala has been a pivotal component on the Golden State Warriors, coming off the bench to contribute in a variety of ways. Iguodala is able to put up numbers when he needs to, dish dimes if the game calls for it, and play hard-nosed D when need be. This award is usually given to the microwaves of the league, but Iguodala is able to do more than that. Iguodala is one of the most-well rounded players in the league, whether he’s coming off the bench or he’s starting. This season, Iggy was a pivotal component of the Warrior’s going on a 13 game winning streak after Durant went down. Iggy says he doesn’t do awards, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve them.
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