2014 PBT Awards: Sixth Man of the Year

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Though none of us have a ballot for the NBA’s official awards, we’ll be presenting our choices and making our cases this week for each major honor.

Kurt Helin

1. Manu Ginobili, San Antonio Spurs

2. Jamal Crawford, Los Angeles Clippers

3. Taj Gibson, Chicago Bulls

When Manu Ginobili enters the game the Spurs offense instantly improves by 7.9 points per 100 possessions (and their defense improves by one per 100). The Spurs outscore opponents by 14 points per game when he plays and they don’t have the best record in the NBA without him. He’s got my vote. The instant offense of Jamal Crawford and the fourth quarter exploits of Taj Gibson get them on the ballot just ahead of Markieff Morris.

Brett Pollakoff

1. Jamal Crawford, Los Angeles Clippers

2. Manu Ginobili, San Antonio Spurs

3. Markieff Morris, Phoenix Suns

I broke this race down in detail a couple of weeks back, and nothing’s changed since then that would alter my hypothetical cote. I like what Markieff Morris has done for Phoenix, and Manu Ginobili has been extremely solid for a Spurs team with the league’s best record. But with the scoring Jamal Crawford does for a very good Clippers team, it’s tough to envision a scenario where this award isn’t his.

Dan Feldman

1. Manu Ginobili, San Antonio Spurs

2. Jamal Crawford, Los Angeles Clippers

3. Taj Gibson, Chicago Bulls

I created my rankings before seeing Kurt’s, but not only did we agree on our top three, he nailed the explanation for Ginobili at No. 1. The Spurs guard is just a whiz who elevates his team with all his trickery. Crawford gets the slightest edge over Gibson for his ability to handle a big offensive burden when necessary and because, when working with the Clippers’ starters, his defense becomes tolerable.