If you haven’t been reading Ben Rohrbach’s stuff over at WEEI, that’s simply foolish of you. He’s been providing insightful, funny material at WEEI since they hired him towards the end of the summer.
Today, Rohrbach suggested that Glen Davis could be a candidate for Sixth Man of the Year.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a better second unit in the NBA than Nate Robinson, Delonte West, Marquis Daniels, Big Baby and Jermaine O’Neal. So, why shouldn’t that unit produce the league’s Sixth Man of the Year?
An argument can be made — rather easily — that right now Davis is the best player on that unit. He’s certainly played that way this preseason.
Sure, in the last four years, the Sixth Man award has gone to a guard who has played more than 30 minutes a game and averaged close to 20 points (Jamal Crawford, Jason Terry, Manu Ginobili and Mike Miller), but it hasn’t always been that way.
In the award’s 28-year history, it’s been given to a post player 15 times — including Celtics Kevin McHale (twice) and Bill Walton. The average season of those winners: 14.7 points and 6.9 rebounds in 28.3 minutes per game (per-minute averages of 0.5 points and 0.2 rebounds).
In seven games this preseason, Big Baby averaged 12.0 points and 4.4 rebounds in just 20.6 minutes per game (per-minute averages of 0.6 points and 0.2 rebounds).
Given any injury to Shaquille or Jermaine O’Neal (heck, J.O. is already hurting), Davis would be the first to gobble up those minutes. Is there any reason he couldn’t average 14 points and six rebounds in 25 minutes a game?
Davis could average 14 points and 6 rebounds in 25 minutes a game, but he’d really have to continue showing improvements from last year. Last year, in 17.3 minutes per game, Davis averaged only 6.3 points and 3.8 rebounds. To think he might average 14 points and 6 boards (or even 25 minutes) this time around requires a serious leap of faith. Davis didn’t even average 14 points per 36 minutes last season (he averaged 13.1).
Let’s say Davis does average 25 minutes per game, which would be a career high and could be a reach considering that Garnett, both O’Neals and even Erden will also command frontcourt minutes. His numbers per 25 minutes last season were 9.1 points and 5.47 rebounds. That production would have to skyrocket to reach 14 points and 6 rebounds, and even reaching those numbers wouldn’t guarantee him the award.
Davis looks improved. He could very well be the Celtics bench’s best, and most consistent, player. At the very least, he’s a nice weapon to have in reserve. But Sixth Man of the Year? It’s quite a long shot.