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Who is your midseason Sixth Man of the Year?
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Steve Aschburner:Jordan Clarkson, Utah Jazz. Of the players who exclusively have come off the bench this season, averaging at least 15 minutes, Clarkson is the leading scorer at 17.9 ppg. And scoring seems to be the most valued skill in winners of this award. Last year’s winner, Montrezl Harrell, is averaging four fewer points and grabbing only 2.6 more rebounds than the 6-foot-4 Clarkson. The Jazz reserve has a green light when he enters, reliant on coach Quin Snyder to turn it red on those rare occasions he’s not hitting. Clarkson also is making 96.7 percent of his free throws, daring you to contest aggressively.
Shaun Powell: Jordan Clarkson is scoring 17.9 ppg in just 26 minutes and providing the turbo boost that Utah needs whenever it’s time to give Donovan Mitchell a breather. He has found a home with the Jazz and a role that suits him perfectly. Like most elite sixth men, he needs little warm-up time. That said, Montrezl Harrell, the reigning sixth man winner, is doing a solid follow-up job with the Lakers.
John Schuhmann: Thaddeus Young, Chicago Bulls. Jordan Clarkson has scored 141 more points off the bench than any other player, and the ingenuity of his bucket-getting has been one of the most enjoyable aspects of this season. But Young has averaged 12.1 points (on 60% shooting), 5.9 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.4 steals off the bench for the Bulls. Furthermore, while the Jazz have been slightly better with Clarkson on the bench, the Bulls have 12.9 points per 100 possessions better with Young on the floor (+6.6) than they’ve been with him off the floor (-6.3). No player is responsible for everything that happens when they’re in the game, but the Bulls have won five games this season in which they’ve been outscored (or tied) with Young off the floor. That’s been the case for the Jazz and Clarkson only three times.
Michael C. Wright: Is this even a debate at this point? Jordan Clarkson takes this thing in a landslide from this vantage point. Clarkson averages a career-high 17.9 ppg off Utah’s bench, which for the most part has been obliterating opponents. Despite coming off the bench and playing 26 minutes per game, the man is the team’s second-leading scorer and leads the league in bench scoring. Instant offense, for a Jazz squad already teeming with it.