Who should be the 2012-13 6th Man?

Jimmy Butler

Tom Ziller had a great post about the 6th Man of the Year (6MOTY) where he said the following:

There are so many viable Sixth Man of the Year candidates that picking one becomes a sort of personality test.

While I’d like to believe this theory, the data does not back up Tom’s (clearly not-so-serious) claim. One of the observations that we here at the Wages of Wins have made again and again is that people really like points, especially when it comes to picking All-Star teams and handing out awards. The voting for the 6MOTY is no different. Take a look at the posts we’ve written about this award in the past:

The requirements for 6MOTY are simple: a player must start less than 50% of his games played to be eligible for the award. Voters love points per game (PPG), and almost always vote for players who play for one of the best teams in the league. Given these criteria, who will win the award this year? The following is the list of top ten players (sorted by PPG) who have started less than 50% of their games and play on a team with a winning percentage above 0.530:

Player Team W% PPG WP48 Wins
J.R. Smith 0.663 18.1 0.101 5.6
Jamal Crawford 0.675 16.5 0.058 2.6
Kevin Martin 0.738 14.0 0.132 5.9
Nate Robinson 0.538 13.3 0.089 3.8
Jarrett Jack 0.563 13.0 0.106 5.0
Corey Brewer 0.688 12.3 0.023 0.9
Ray Allen 0.800 10.9 0.157 6.5
Carl Landry 0.563 10.7 0.159 6.0
Carlos Delfino 0.563 10.5 0.114 3.9
Matt Barnes 0.675 10.3 0.169 7.1

Given that he plays on one of the best teams in the league and leads bench players in PPG by a decent margin, J.R. Smith will probably win the 6MOTY this year. Jamal Crawford and Kevin Martin will probably be his closest competition; of those two players, Crawford has the edge in PPG, but Martin plays on the better team and will get votes for helping the Thunder replace James Harden. But one can’t help but notice that these three players are not the top three players on this list when we sort by wins. That list looks like this:

Player Team W% PPG WP48 Wins
Jimmy Butler 0.538 8.6 0.244 10.4
Ed Davis 0.675 7.7 0.217 7.1
Matt Barnes 0.675 10.3 0.169 7.1
Ray Allen 0.800 10.9 0.157 6.5
Andre Miller 0.688 9.6 0.144 6.3
Carl Landry 0.563 10.7 0.159 6.0
Kevin Martin 0.738 14.0 0.132 5.9
J.R. Smith 0.663 18.1 0.101 5.6
Antawn Jamison 0.543 9.3 0.156 5.2
Eric Bledsoe 0.675 8.6 0.162 5.1

Jimmy Butler of the Bulls tops this list, and I suspect that Butler will get very few votes this year. Butler has been excellent off the bench for Chicago, helping offset injuries to Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson. Ed Davis is second on this list, and Davis will probably fail to get a single vote for this award. It hasn’t helped his case that he has barely played since arriving from Toronto, but I’d put most of the blame for that on his stat-hating coach. Rounding up the top five are a bunch of still-productive vets: Matt Barnes, Ray Allen, and Andre Miller.

So, getting back to Tom Ziller’s point: if you vote for J.R. Smith, Jamal Crawford, or Kevin Martin, you’re probably an old school basketball fan who values points above everything else. Or as Ziller says, you think like this:

I’m pretty conservative, despite my love for a nasty crossover. I don’t like to stick out from a crowd or be seen as someone with weird ideas. I value the status of the person making an argument more than the argument itself. I prefer oatmeal.

And if you’d pick Jimmy Butler, Ed Davis, Matt Barnes, Ray Allen, or Andre Miller, you pay more attention to basketball stats than the average fan. Or, as Ziller says, you think like this:

I am brilliant. No really, just ask me. I’ll let you know. I finish the Sunday crossword on Saturday. I can produce a list my top 50 Dr. Who episodes without even looking at Wikipedia. The correlation coefficient between my top 100 movie list and Metacritic scores is 0.96. I am excellent.

I should also note that Butler, Davis, Barnes, Allen, and Miller are not even mentioned in Ziller’s article. But WoW favourite Amir Johnson is — he’s the choice associated with the stathead profile noted above. Johnson doesn’t make it on our list because he plays for a bad team, but if we removed the winning team requirement, he would be right behind Butler with 10.3 wins. What does that say about us?

- Devin

(PS: I can’t stand Doctor Who!)

Comments are closed.