Los Angeles Clippers v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game One

Clippers’ Jamal Crawford awarded NBA Sixth Man of the Year in close vote


Jamal Crawford can flat out fill up the bucket — when he came in off the bench this season the Clippers’ offense, already the best in the NBA, didn’t lose a beat. Crawford averaged 18.6 points a game and the Clippers outscored opponents by 6.1 points per 100 possessions when he was on the court.

That was enough to win Crawford the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award. This had been expected and is well deserved.

Taj Gibson of the Chicago Bulls finished a relatively close second in the voting (26 points back), Manu Ginobili of the San Antonio Spurs finished third.

This is Crawford’s second Sixth Man of the Year award, he won in the 2009-10 season as a member of the Atlanta Hawks. Crawford is only the fourth two-time winner of the award joining Kevin McHale, Ricky Pierce and Detlef Schrempf.

Crawford came in off the bench for the Clippers in 45 of the 69 games in which he played, and he brought with him the ability to create his own shot and knock down the jumper (36 percent from three). He provided another level of depth to what was statistically the best offense in the NBA this season.

Here is the voting on the award, with their point totals (first place votes in parenthesis).

Jamal Crawford, L.A. Clippers (57) 421
Taj Gibson, Chicago (49) 395
Manu Ginobili , San Antonio (9) 138
Markieff Morris, Phoenix (5) 85
Reggie Jackson, Oklahoma City (4) 49
Vince Carter, Dallas (1)12
D.J. Augustin, Chicago 6
Enes Kanter, Utah 3
Dion Waiters, Cleveland 3
Nick Young, L.A. Lakers 3
Chris Andersen, Miami 2
Marco Belinelli, San Antonio 2
Andray Blatche, Brooklyn 1
Tim Hardaway Jr., New York 1
Patty Mills, San Antonio 1
Timofey Mozgov, Denver 1
Greivis Vasquez, Toronto 1
Mo Williams, Portland 1

To answer your question, Enes Kanter got one second place vote, it came from Jason Kosmicki, the radio voice of the Denver Nuggets. Vince Carter’s first place vote came from Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News. You can see all the votes here.

Kristaps Porzingis grew up a Kobe fan. Still is one.


When you hear player comparisons for Knicks rookie, the most common is Dirk Nowitzki — a European big with ridiculous shooting range and potential to embarrass anyone.

So did he grow up idolizing Dirk? Not so much.

Rather, like many of his generation, he grew up idolizing Kobe Bryant, he told Mike Francesa of WFAN.

“My favorite player growing up was Kobe. The Lakers were my team and I still love him.”

There is an entire generation of NBA players — and just fans — who would say the same thing.

In the interview, Porzingis laments his missed shots and turnovers, he thinks he can be a lot better. That is exactly what you want out of a rookie. It’s a huge adjustment playing at the NBA level, the speed of the game and IQ is a leap from Europe (or college). Recognizing the challenge is part of it.

There’s a lot to like in Porzingis. He could be special (we don’t know yet, we see only the potential). But idolizing Kobe — and if you understand the work he put in, the passion for the game — can be a good start.

(Hat tip NBA reddit)

Warriors’ interim coach Luke Walton’s car stolen

Luke Walton

If you’re looking for a “when are things going to go wrong for the Warriors” moment, we have one for you. But it may not be what you had hoped for.

Warriors’ interim head coach Luke Walton — the guy on the sidelines for the 15 (soon to be 16) game winning streak — had his car stolen during a crime spree, reports NBCBayArea.com.

One of the cars stolen during an Oakland Hills crime spree belongs to Golden State Warriors coach Luke Walton, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley said late Monday.

Walton’s Mercedes Benz was stolen Tuesday by two suspects, who police believe are also responsible for a violent attack on a 75-year-old woman outside her home on Thursday. The suspects also took the woman’s car during the attack, according to police.

Yikes. That’s serious.

I’m sure Steve Kerr has like 14 cars, he can loan one to Walton.

Pacers guard George Hill returns Tuesday against Wizards

Paul George, Marcus Morris
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Pacers guard George Hill returned to the lineup Tuesday night against Washington after missing three games with an upper respiratory infection.

Hill is averaging 14 points and just under 37 minutes in 10 games this season. He was on the bench in case of emergency in Saturday’s victory over Milwaukee.

Coach Frank Vogel said Tuesday Hill’s infection had improved “to the point where he’s fine to play,” but would keep an eye out for fatigue after an 11-day layoff.

Hassan Whiteside on intentional fouls: “It’s not working, so keep fouling me”

Hassan Whiteside

Remember how Adam Silver was preaching that the league didn’t want to change the intentional foul rule — the hack-a-Shaq strategy — because it was really about two players (DeAndre Jordan and Dwight Howard) and a handful of others now and then. The fact that it’s not basketball didn’t matter.

Well, it’s not just two — Miami’s Hassan Whiteside has gotten the treatment this season. He’s a 53.4 percent free throw shooter this season.

And he says bring it on. From Jason Lieser of the Palm Beach Post:

“I’m enjoying this,” he said. “Foul me so I can get a double-double and we can win. It’s not working, so keep fouling me.”

He’s even smart at not getting fouled.

Whiteside also is liking that teams are looking at their options against the best defense in the NBA — yes, Miami at 94 points allowed per 100 possessions, is the best defense in the NBA right now — and deciding to attack Whiteside.

“There’s teams that’s out there that say ‘Stay away from Hassan,’ and there’s teams that say, ‘We don’t care if Hassan’s down there. Attack Hassan.’ I love them teams that do that. God bless them coaches. I love them teams.”

Whiteside is not as great a defender as the block totals would indicate — if he doesn’t see a block in it, his rotations can be a bit slow. One scout recently called him a selfish defender to me recently, suggesting he is in it for the numbers, not the sacrifices needed for an elite defense. True or not, the Heat have an elite defense and Whiteside is at the heart of it.

And if the strategy is to try to exploit him, Whiteside plans to make people pay.