This season’s 6th man competition was a close battle for the entirety of the season. A couple of candidates emerged late, like the Knicks’ JR Smith, who averaged 22 points on 45.5% FG% (55.8 TS%) and 6 rebounds per game off the bench during the months of March and April. Jamal Crawford was a consistent contributor off the bench for the Los Angeles Clippers, like he was for two seasons in Atlanta. The final tally saw JR Smith take home the award and Jamal Crawford finishing a close second. Rounding out the top five was Jarrett Jack of the Golden State Warriors, Kevin Martin of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Ryan Anderson of the New Orleans
The Atlant Hawks 6th man was a difficult selections since the Hawks used so many players in so many different roles. To be eligible for the 6th man of the year award, the recipient has to have come off the bench more than he has started. This eliminates Kyle Korver and Devin Harris, who have each started more games than each has come off the bench. Had Lou Williams had stayed health, he would be a prime candidate for this award.
I think Ivan Johnson deserves this award however. 6th men are known for coming off the bench and giving the starters a bit of a jolt if ever the need a boost. Ivan Johnson fits this definition perfectly. He works on the offensive glass as well as anyone on the team and has improved his range on offense as well. He has been a real find coming in as an undrafted free agent last season.