The NBA is now announcing a new award winner for the season for a variety of categories. Yesterday Kawhi Leonard was named Defensive Player of Year and today the Los Angeles Clippers guard Jamal Crawford was named Sixth Man of the Year. It was the third time in his career that Crawford has won the award and, quite frankly, this year he is not the player who deserves it.
The Thunder’s Enes Kanter put up numbers off the bench that have never been seen before. Kanter was a offensive and rebounding machine for OKC. This season Kanter was averaging 12.7 points on 57% shooting to go along with 8.1 rebounds in only of 21 minutes a game. He was the only Thunder player to appear in all 82 games this season and was the only player to come off the bench and have a Player Efficiency Rating (PER) in the top 10 in the league.
To compare, Crawford played in 79 games this season, averaging 14.2 points, 2.3 assists, and 1.8 rebounds in 26.9 minutes of play. Crawford did not even finish in the top 75 of the league in PER. So Crawford was playing almost seven more minutes a game, only averaged two more points than Kanter did and did it at a less effective rate. How does that make any sense?
Even more ridiculous is how many votes Kanter got for the award. Kanter did not even finish in second place, he would come in third with 182 voting points and Andre Iguodala came in second with 288 voting points. Iggy missed several games this season and had the worst PER of the three of them.
It seems that the writers who vote for these awards show no consistency at all. In the past they have said that they take into account PER in their voting, yet they did not do it in this situation.
This is another stage where Thunder fans have to be wondering what they did wrong and why it seems like the media is against their team.