A Substitute for War

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Posts Tagged ‘JJ Redick

2010-11 NBA Predictions: 6th Man of the Year

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I used the phrase “borderline irrationality” before, but there’s nothing borderline about this award.  Case in point:  Manu Ginobili finished a distant 4th in the voting last year.  He qualified as 6th man based on the NBA definition, and he’s was far superior than anyone else who qualified, so why wasn’t he a lock to win this award?  With the Most Improved Player award you can at least point to the Kevin Durants of the world missing out because they’re already getting plenty of accolade love elsewhere, and the award was design to give a shout out to someone who wouldn’t ordinarily get one.

6th man of the year?  Look, there is no 5th man or 7th man of the year award.  The award exists specifically to reward players who are good enough to be a starter, but who are sacrificing to help their team.  You want to honor that sacrifice, then you certainly don’t ignore players who are “too good” here.  You can’t even use the argument that Ginobili’s getting other awards instead because he didn’t get ANY awards last year.  No All-NBA, or All-Star spot for this guy, specifically because of his sacrifice, and he can’t even get this lousy award?  Now to paint a more full picture:

1)      Ginobili has won the award before, and that’s probably factoring in here – but that just begs the question of why voters don’t want to vote for him a second time.

2)      Ginobili is in that role, partly because his style of play makes him suite to play less minutes that a real superstar would play, so calling it a “sacrifice” is debatable in his case in particular – but it would make zero sense for a voter to use that fact to not vote for Ginobili.

Ending the rant – where does that leave us?  Well, if Ginobili were slated to be a 6th man against this year, I’d get stubborn and make him my pick while at the same time saying I didn’t expect him to get the award.  At this point though, the evidence I see has him starting, so I’ll try for an honest to god prediction.

The guy I see right now, who is on a great team, is getting good minutes, and is riding a wave of Shane Battier-esque role player buzz is…

JJ Redick

He’s gone through quite the transition from hated Dukie to the guy people praise while find new ways to hate Vince Carter.  Redick’s solid play during Orlando’s deep playoff run helped make him a prized free agent this off-season.  The Magic though didn’t want to let Redick go, and so he stays in the same role that suited him so well previously.    He’ll never become a star in this role, but he just might get an increasing amount of positive attention.