James Harden Named Sixth Man of Year
In just three seasons, James Harden has gone from a role player known as much for his beard as his game, to the best “off the bench” player in the NBA. On Thursday, Harden was named the 2011-12 NBA Sixth Man of The Year.
Harden was the clear winner and collected more than two times the votes (584) of the second place finisher, the 76ers Lou Williams (231). To further illustrate the landslide notion of the vote, of the 118 ballots cast, 115 had Harden number one while the other three had Williams in the top spot.
Here are the results:
1. James Harden, Oklahoma City (584)
2. Louis Williams, Philadelphia (231)
3. Jason Terry, Dallas (81)
4. Al Harrington, Denver (42)
5. Manu Ginobili, San Antonio (28)
But seriously- who else could it even really be? Of all the NBA awards handed out this year, the Sixth Man of The Year was the least suspenseful prior to the announcement. Harden’s overall production was obvious, but what isn’t so obvious was his efficiency.
Harden played an average of 31.4 mpg, a career high, and also set career highs in ppg (16.8), field goal percentage (.491), free throw percentage (.846), three point percentage (.390), rpg (4.1) and apg (3.7). What is particularly telling about the year he had is that even though he took career highs in shots per game (10.1), free throws attempted per game (6.0) and three point attempts per games (4.7), he still set career highs in both percentages and makes per game in each category.
Get ready to hear the argument “wouldn’t he be more productive if he played even more?” ramped up even further heading into next season.
Here’s to hoping he has a better follow up season than last year’s recipient, Lamar Odom.