Top 5 contenders for Sixth Man of the Year
There are a number of players in the NBA who specialize in the most important task on the basketball court, which is to put the ball through the hoop. Many of them play as starters since they also have other abilities that separate them from the pack - but some of them, due to physical limitations on their part, or roster strength, have to play from the bench.
This year, we have seen excellent performances from a number of substitutes coming into games. The usual suspects like Lou Williams and Eric Gordon have been great as usual at the scoring-playmaking role, but there is a new entrant to our top 5 list.
The following players have been excellent in their roles, and deserve a shout-out for their impact this season:
(a) Dwyane Wade
(b) Tyus Jones
(c) Jamal Crawford
(d) Rudy Gay
(e) Domantas Sabonis
We wind down our list of top candidates for the Sixth Man of the Year award as follows:
#5 Michael Beasley
When we talk about the best scorers in the game, Michael Beasley is not the first name to come to mind. But the ability he has shown through the course of his 10-year NBA career to put the ball through the hoop has forced the likes of Kevin Durant to shower praise on him:
"He can score from anywhere. He can score on anybody. He can use both hands, but there's something else that separates. You know what I'm saying? I think that's just the difference, the mental part of it. And he's got the foundation of his game set; it's just time to build on top of it."
As Durant correctly pointed out, Beasley has the foundation of his game set. Now he's backing up his case as an above-average NBA player with his ongoing campaign for the New York Knicks - Beasley is averaging 13.3 points and 5.7 rebounds per game on 50.8 percent shooting from the floor and an excellent 41 percent shooting from 3-point range.
He has scored 20+ points in 20 games this season, leading the Knicks to some credible victories. It looks like he's set for a mid-level contract this summer in free agency.