The Utah Jazz became the first team to clinch a berth in the playoffs this week and have done so partly because of their bench unit. Jordan Clarkson and Joe Ingles have been prolific and are having their most effective scoring years in the league. Their output will be essential if Utah are to translate their regular-season success into the postseason.
Aside from Ingles and Clarkson, our list of the top-5 candidates for the NBA Sixth Man of the Year power rankings remains unchanged. However, positions in the rankings have altered due to Chris Boucher's injury and varying performances from players when on the court this week.
Power rankings for the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award fluctuate entering the final weeks of action
All of our top four players in the running for the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award should be in the playoffs. That means we could see their effectiveness and importance increase even more as teams' stars look to their supporting cast for help.
Montrezl Harrell re-affirms his position in the top three of the power rankings for the Sixth Man of the Year. Meanwhile, Jalen Brunson continues to make his case amid a positive run for the Dallas Mavericks. Let's look at how all of this has affected our latest power rankings for the NBA Sixth Man of the Year.
#5 Chris Boucher
2020-21 Season Stats - MPG: 24.0 PPG: 13.6 AST: 1.1 REB: 6.7 FG%: 51.9
Previous NBA power rankings - 3rd (↓2)
Chris Boucher falls down our power rankings for the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award after missing the Raptors' last four games. He will also miss their road trip to the West Coast this week as he continues to recover from a knee strain.
Regardless, Boucher has had a breakout year in Toronto and has been a standout candidate in the NBA Sixth Man of the Year power rankings for much of the campaign. He has been extremely efficient on both ends of the floor, with an offensive rating of 128 and a defensive rating of 108. Per 36 minutes, Boucher averages a 20-point, 10-rebound double-double and is shooting the ball at over 50% from the field this season.
The 28-year-old has been one of the few highlights from an otherwise disappointing season for the Raptors. They have had their struggles in the paint, though Boucher has proven he could be in their starting frontcourt next year. An impressive end to the season could boost Boucher up the power rankings.
#4 Jalen Brunson
2020-21 Season Stats - MPG: 25.4 PPG: 12.5 AST: 3.5 REB: 3.6 FG%: 51.7
Previous NBA power rankings - 5th (↑1)
Scoring help for Luka Doncic has been subject to discussion throughout the season. Aiding the Dallas Mavericks' second unit in this regard has been Jalen Brunson, who has seen his stock rise recently in the NBA Sixth Man of the Year power rankings.
While he hasn't been particularly prolific from the field this week, Brunson recorded a +/- rating of 9. He is also having his most efficient season on offense this year, with a rating of 122.
Brunson has been the Mavs' second creator on the floor all year and is attracting a lot of attention. Having been given more freedom to shoot the ball, Brunson is becoming a well-rounded point guard in his third season in the league. He is shooting at 51% from the floor and 38% from downtown, both career-high numbers. Although only fourth in these power rankings, Brunson will be extremely important to the Dallas Mavericks' playoff chances this season.
#3 Joe Ingles
2020-21 Season Stats - MPG: 27.4 PPG: 12.2 AST: 4.4 REB: 3.7 FG%: 50.9
Previous NBA power rankings - 2nd (↓1)
One of the main reasons the Utah Jazz have been so successful this campaign is the reliability of veteran sharpshooter Joe Ingles. However, Ingles falls one place in our power rankings for the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award. The Australian had an unusually off shooting week, connecting with only 27% of his efforts from the field. Ingles has moved into the starting lineup, replacing Donovan Mitchell, though he was held to only 13 points across the Jazz' two fixtures against Minnesota.
Despite this, Utah are extremely lucky to have Ingles as an option to bring off the bench. The 33-year-old leads the league in effective field-goal shooting, with a staggering rate of 68.3%. He also ranks second in the NBA for three-point accuracy among players that attempt more than five treys per game, making 47.8% of his 5.9 attempts.
#2 Montrezl Harrell
2020-21 Season Stats - MPG: 23.9 PPG: 14.0 AST: 1.1 REB: 6.5 FG%: 62.5
Previous NBA power rankings - 4th (↑2)
Montrezl Harrell climbs back up our power rankings for the NBA Sixth Man of the Year after a monster couple of games.
Although his minutes have reduced since Andre Drummond's arrival and the return of Anthony Davis, Harrell will still have a huge role to play in the franchise's playoff aspirations.
In just 20 minutes in his previous two outings, Harrell put up 15 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals. He also shot at an outstanding 80% from the floor and 75% from the free-throw line.
Since Drummond's arrival, it has all been about efficiency for the reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year. He has an offensive rating of 127 and the best defensive rating on our list at 106. He is tied with Clarkson for points per 36 minutes and ranks among the top-10 in field-goal percentage for centers who have played over 50 games.
#1 Jordan Clarkson
2020-21 Season Stats - MPG: 26.0 PPG: 17.5 AST: 2.3 REB: 4.0 FG%: 42.0
Previous NBA power rankings - 1st (-)
Since our last power rankings for the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award, not a lot has changed and Jordan Clarkson remains the runaway leader. In a week where the Utah Jazz fell twice to the Timberwolves before blitzing the Sacramento Kings by almost 50 points, Clarkson averaged 17 points, 4 rebounds and 4.3 assists.
Without Donovan Mitchell, Clarkson has been essential in keeping the Jazz' backcourt threat alive. Behind Bogdanovic, the 28-year-old was Utah's second-highest scorer against the Kings with 23 points in 25 minutes. He may even start just his second game all season on Friday night against the Suns, as Mike Conley has also been ruled out for the fixture.
Clarkson is having the most efficient season of his career and will be the deserving winner of the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award. He has a win share of 3.2, is scoring a prolific 92% off free throws and is putting up career-highs in points and rebounds. At the other end of the court, this is also Clarkson's best defensive campaign. He has an efficiency rating of 109 and grabs almost one steal per matchup.