Our final award is meant to show some love to the best player off the bench. Which Rap was best at coming in cold to relieve a flagging starter, resuscitate a sputtering offense, throw a blanket over a hot-shooting opponent, or grab some rebounds?
A list of the great Sixth Men of the NBA would include such award-winning luminaries as Manu Ginobli, James Harden (not a Sixth Man anymore!), and this year’s winner, scoring machine J.R. Smith.
With reluctance, I’ve decided that the winner of the Oak must be on the roster at season’s end. Therefore two of the best candidates, Jose Calderon and Ed Davis, are ineligible. Amir Johnson started 38 of 81 games, which puts him on the bubble as a Sixth Man; I’m going to rule he’s ineligible. In theory, anyone on the bench is a candidate, but players who piled up DNP-CDs [Did Not Play - Coach's Decision] can’t be considered. The Sixth Man must have consistent, positive impact on almost every game. That leaves:
- Alan Anderson
- John Lucas III
Alan’s season was a roller-coaster. His personal highlight was torching the surprised Knicks for 35 points in New York in March, after burning them for 26 in Toronto the previous month. Averaging over 10 PPG for the season was a career high, and the number would have been even more impressive but for an end of season shooting slump. Alan’s defense was very solid, and he appears to be a well-liked teammate.
John Lucas did not have the season he, or we as fans, was hoping for. While the offensive numbers are in the range of his historical norms, he had the opportunity to have a breakout year and it just didn’t happen.
The envelope please…the winner of the Oak for Sixth Man of the Year is….Alan Anderson!
Brian Boake is Senior Editor for Raptors Rapture. “Like” Raptors Rapture on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @RaptorsRapture for all the latest news and updates about the best damn NBA team from Canada.