The guards are still surging in our latest Sixth Man Rankings.
After another week of Western Conference dominance, it makes sense that the top five candidates for Sixth Man are coming from West teams.
The role of sixth man continues to evolve from the longstanding “super scorer” stereotype into one better designed for all-around contributors.
Of the top five players in the rankings, only Jamal Crawford is considered a pure scorer. Three of the other candidates are in the top five in distributing.
The correlation between a good team and a good sixth man are as clear as ever; four of the five players represented in these rankings come from top teams out West.
Out East, Jordan Crawford is having a career year as the Celtics’s new starting point guard. Last year, could anyone have guessed Crawford would be recording trouble-doubles? Now he has three for his career. What will Rajon Rondo’s return mean for Jordan Crawford’s role? Can he become a Sixth Man candidate?
One thing to keep tabs on is how other players returning from injury will integrate back into their rotations. In Atlanta, the Hawks have struggled to take full advantage of Lou Williams’ return to the lineup. In New York, reigning Sixth Man Award winner J.R. Smith remains stuck in an early season funk.
How will Kobe Bryant’s return affect the Lakers’ rotation? Jodie Meeks continues to shoot well over 40% from deep. Will the Lakers keep him in the starting lineup?
In Brooklyn, what will Deron Williams’ return mean for Shaun Livingston’s role?
Only time will tell.
Now, on to the rankings.
FIVE TO WATCH: DeJuan Blair, F-C, Dallas; Markieff Morris, F, Phoenix; Jared Sullinger, F, Boston; Nick Young, G, LA Lakers; Rodney Stuckey, G, Detroit.
PREVIOUS RANKINGS: Rookie | Most Improved | MVP | Sixth Man
Jacob Eisenberg is a student at Emory University and covers the NBA for SheridanHoops.com. Check out his website and click here to follow him on Twitter.