While there were some other deserving candidates out the there — we’re looking at you, Jarrett Jack — the race for NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year was essentially a two man race.
One that the Knicks J.R. Smith has apparently won.
It will not be official until later on Monday afternoon but multiple reports out of New York say Smith will win the award.
Which means his hot end of the season pushed him past the Clippers Jamal Crawford, who was the leader in this race midway through the season. In his last 15 games of the regular season Smith averaged 23.7 points a game on 50.6 percent shooting, with 6.5 rebounds a game. When Carmelo Anthony was out he stepped up this season and that helped win him the award.
He had 15 points and 5 rebounds in the Knicks Game 1 playoff win over the Celtics Saturday.
Smith was the guy I would have had on top of my ballot, I think this was the right call.
Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:
Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.
Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:
A few hours after the game, the Hornets announced that Kidd-Gilchrist has a dislocated shoulder:
Depending on the severity of the injury, he could miss a few weeks or a few months. Hopefully, it’s the shorter end of that timeline. We should know more on Sunday.