Speedy Claxton - New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets
Sixth Man Award

Ranks 18th in the NBA in steals per game (1.52), 19th in assists per 48 minutes (8.1) and 6th in steals per 48 minutes (2.57) ... Ranks third on the team in scoring (12.3), second in assists (4.8) and second in steals ... Set a career high with 29 points at Atlanta on 1/6 ... Recorded four double-doubles.

Our take:
He played behind Allen Iverson. He won a ring with the Spurs in 2003. And now, he's the back up for the leading candidate for the 2006 T-Mobile Rookie of the Year.

It's been an interesting career for Speedy Claxton, and now, he could add the Sixth Man Award to that list. Claxton is averaging 12.3 points per game in 71 contests, only three of which he started, which is just shy of his career best of 13.1 ppg when he played 46 games for Golden State in 2004-05.

While most sixth men fire when ready, Claxton has proven himself to be valuable on defense as well, with 1.52 steals per game, good for 18th in the NBA.

A Sixth Man Award winner who can stick it on both ends of the floor? We may have a winner here.
-- Rob Peterson

From an opposing coach:
Speedy dominated the game, on both ends. He pressured, defended, got the ball anywhere he wanted, got people involved. He was phenomenal. He is similar to Chris Paul. They both like to get out in the open floor and make things happen.
-- Larry Brown, after Claxton recorded double-double in a win over the Knicks.

A fan's take:
With Chris Paul there, Speedy comes off of the bench with the whole package. He puts puts great numbers for a bench player.
-- David - Norwalk, Cal.

The Numbers:
71 3 28.4 12.3 2.7 4.8 1.52 0.08 .413 .270 .769

Sixth Man Award - The Candidates:
Speedy Claxton - New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets
Derek Fisher - Golden State Warriors
Mike Miller - Memphis Grizzlies
Jerry Stackhouse - Dallas Mavericks
Antoine Walker - Miami Heat

Others worth consideration: Earl Boykins, Channing Frye, Devin Harris, Eddie House, Bobby Jackson, Fred Jones, Alonzo Mourning, Ronald Murray, Charlie Villanueva, Maurice Williams

Most Improved Player
Rookie of the Year
Defensive Player of the Year
Coach of the Year
Most Valuable Player

Layne Murdoch/NBAE/Getty Images