Every off season, most people focus on how good the starting line-up of a team is. Some, in fact, go so far as to predict a team’s chances based solely on it’s starters. However, more often than not, it’s the bench players who provide those few extra points each game which enables the team to snatch victories.
Classic example of bench players changing the course of the game: Miami’s veteran sixth man Ray Allen. One might go so far as to say that Miami wouldn’t have won the championship without Allen’s stellar clutch play.
Now, the free agent frenzy has died down, and most of the rosters are taking on a solid shape. This is the perfect time to predict who the top 5 sixth men will be in the 2013-14 season.
5. Jamal Crawford, Los Angeles Clippers
2012-13 Stats: 16.5 PPG, 1.7 RPG, 2.5 APG, 43.8 FG%, 37.6 3P%, 16.89 PER.
Crawford is a player who’s capable of running his own offence. At 6’5″, he’s perfect to play alongside Chris Paul and together, they would make a lethal pair.
Despite this, Crawford will remain a bench player mainly because of his liabilities on defence. His idea of defence often involves waving his arms wildly while defending on one-on-one situations, hoping that his arms will touch the ball. The Clippers have a better SG in J.J. Redick who’ll probably start this season.
However, make no mistake. Crawford is a veteran and will definitely play a significant role in the Clippers’ title defence this season. He’s excellent at running the pick and roll and is a good enough shooter. He put up decent stats and despite the possibility of him seeing a reduction in minutes this season, Crawford remains their premier sixth man.