With a month to go, it looks like the sixth man of the year is a two-man race: Jason Terry and Lamar Odom.
Glen “Big Baby” Davis, George Hill and the often over looked Thaddeus Young of the Sixers deserve some votes, some consideration. But they are all a step behind your two leaders.
So who is it?
Terry is averaging 16.4 points per game, the most of any sixth man in the league. He is the third (or fourth) best player on one of the elite teams in the West. He’s sixth in the league in fourth quarter scoring, he’s a guy his team counts on at the end of games.
But really, this should be Lamar Odom’s year. That in spite of his new scent.
If you really like stats, John Schuhmann at NBA.com has a mountain of them. But at the end of the day this is his conclusion.
In fact, the Mavs have been outscored by 3.7 points per 100 possessions in Terry’s first five minutes over the course of the season. Odom, on the other hand, consistently affects the scoreboard in a positive manner for the Lakers. And while Terry has the edge when it comes to putting the ball in the basket, Odom, with superior overall numbers and a bigger defensive impact, should be the clear choice for the Sixth Man Award this season.
As you know by now (especially if you read the MVP posts at PBT) I like efficiency in players. This season Odom is shooting 54.3 percent to Terry’s 45.4 percent. Account for three pointers made and trips to the free throw line, using true shooting percentage, and Odom still leads 59.4 to 54.4. Odom has scored 1.07 points per possession used, compared to 0.97 for Terry (via Synergy Sports).
Odom, like Terry in Dallas, is also a key part of what the Lakers do. Los Angeles has the two-pronged approach of Kobe Bryant and being taller/longer than you. Odom, a point-forward coming off the bench at 6’10” to be a match up nightmare.
This has been Odom’s year. There is a month to go but this should be his award to lose.