Blogtable: Who are your top three candidates for Kia Sixth Man?
Each week, we ask our scribes to weigh in on the most important NBA topics of the day.
From NBA.com Staff
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Who are your top three candidates for the NBA Kia Sixth Man Award?
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Steve Aschburner: Everyone says this is Lou Williams’ award for the second time in four years, and I’m not arguing with that. The Clippers’ guard leads his team in scoring and assists per game, as well as 3-pointers taken and made, in perhaps the best of his 13 NBA seasons. Houston’s Eric Gordon, the 2017 winner, is my No. 2 for doing as much as, or more than, for the Rockets again. The third slot on my ballot goes to Denver’s Will Barton over the Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma if for no other reason than the Nuggets have been playing games that matter.
Tas Melas: 1. Lou Williams, LA Clippers. Nearly an All-Star coming off the bench and deserves consideration for Kia Most Improved Player in year 13. 2. Eric Gordon, Houston Rockets. With all the storylines going on in Houston, Gordon has been overlooked. His numbers were better in all those games he filled in as a starter, but his ranking here shows how great he was in both roles. 3. Fred VanVleet, Toronto Raptors. He is the honorary captain of the Raptors bench mob and the likeliest of that crew to finish games. He has the poise of a veteran, not a second year guy, and he’ll be making big plays for years to come.
Shaun Powell: 1. Lou Williams, LA Clippers. Yes, he has started a fistful of games but for the most part has fit the definition of a sixth man and nearly made the All-Star cut while averaging roughly five points over his previous career best for a season. 2. Eric Gordon, Houston Rockets. Like Lou, Gordon was pressed into emergency starter’s duty for a spell because of Houston injuries, but his long distance gunning has been a major part of Houston’s climb to the top in the West. 3. Jordan Clarkson, Cleveland Cavaliers. Very under the radar player who has toggled between the Lakers and Cavs this season and shooting respectably while averaging 14 points, getting the nod just ahead of the Raps’ Fred VanVleet.
John Schuhmann: 1. Lou Williams, LA Clippers. With all their injuries and with a rotation-altering trade in the middle of the season, the Clippers are still in playoff contention, and Williams is the biggest reason why. He has carried what ranks as the league’s eighth best offense, which has been almost nine points per 100 possessions better with him on the floor than it’s been with him off the floor. 2. Eric Gordon, Houston Rockets. The Rockets have been almost as good with only one of their two stars on the floor as they’ve been with both, and Gordon is a big reason why. He leads the league in raw plus-minus and he’s been a more efficient scorer than he was last season.
Sekou Smith: The LA Clippers leading man Lou Williams is No. 1 on my list and should have his name etched permanently on the trophy, right next to Jamal Crawford’s. I have the Houston Rockets’ Eric Gordon at No. 2, his work off the bench for the best team in the league being a critical component in the Rockets’ rise to prominence the past two seasons. At No. 3 I have to go with the most underrated sixth man in basketball, the Denver Nuggets’ Will Barton. It’s tough to find any other way of highlighting what he does for the Nuggets for those who don’t watch that team on a regular basis. But he’s been the ideal game changer off that Denver bench and routinely makes winning plays for a team that’s still alive in the playoff hunt.