J.J. Redick embraces bench role and gains momentum for Sixth Man of the Year Award recognition.
After an astonishing 2017-2018 season in which he averaged a career-high 17.1 points per game for the Philadelphia 76ers, it was surprising to see J.J. Redick relegated to starting on the bench for this upcoming season.
Although it is was unexpected, the impact of having Redick as the first man off the bench would be invaluable for the team and could see the 34 year-old sharpshooter winning the Sixth Man of the Year Award come next June.
Last season, former Sixers player Lou Williams took home the hardware while averaging 22.6 points and 5.3 assists per game on a 42 win Clippers team. It was an amazing season for a player coming off the bench and the award was rightly deserved.
Here is why Redick will win the Sixth Man of the Year Award and be the third player from the Sixers to win. Aaron McKie was the latest to do so in 2001 and Bobby Jones won the inaugural award in 1983.
Basketball Reference recently released their projected 2018-19 stat lines for every player in the NBA. It’s not an exact science, but it does help show how J.J. Redick might play next season. His projected stat line of 19.7 points, 2.8 assists, and 3.0 rebounds per 36 minutes would easily be in the conversation for the award.
In order to win the award, a player must come off the bench in more games than he starts. If Brett Brown sticks with Markelle Fultz in the starting lineup, Redick will be the favorite to win the award.
With the recent news that J.J. Redick will start the second half of games, it should come to no surprise that he will be in a more unconventional sixth man role. A majority of his minutes will be with the starters and he will be given the open looks needed to score.
After starting in the last 335 games out of a total 336 with the Los Angeles Clippers and Philadelphia 76ers, Redick has learned how to set an example for younger players. He is a player that could easily be a starter for nearly every team in the league, but has the leadership ability to know that his role coming off the bench could be beneficial to the Sixers winning games.
When asked about moving to the bench, Redick said:
“Brett asked me 10 minutes before the first practice if we could explore this. I told him, ‘whatever the team needs.” — NBC Sports Philadelphia
It is this type of leadership that will force the media to take Redick’s role on the team seriously and vote for him to win the award.
The main reason that J.J. Redick will win the Sixth Man of the Year Award is team success. As many Sixers fans remember from the 2016-17 Rookie of the Year Award race, the placement of the team in the playoff ladder plays a huge role in determining individual awards.
Other players, such as Lou Williams or Bobby Portis, may end up averaging more points, assists, or rebounds than Redick, but they are not likely to be brought into the argument if their teams do not make the playoffs.
The Sixers won 52 games last season and advanced past the Miami Heat to the second round of the playoffs. They are widely expected to compete with the Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors for supremacy of the Eastern Conference. If the team wins 50+ games next season, Redick’s chances at the award skyrocket.
In conclusion, because of his projected stat lines, leadership role, and his team’s expected success, J.J. Redick will be the 2018-19 NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award winner.