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Sixth man of the year, Lamar Odom or Jason Terry?

Mar 20, 2011, 2:22 PM EDT

Portland Trail Blazers v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

With a month to go, it looks like the sixth man of the year is a two-man race: Jason Terry and Lamar Odom.

Glen “Big Baby” Davis, George Hill and the often over looked Thaddeus Young of the Sixers deserve some votes, some consideration. But they are all a step behind your two leaders.

So who is it?

Terry is averaging 16.4 points per game, the most of any sixth man in the league. He is the third (or fourth) best player on one of the elite teams in the West. He’s sixth in the league in fourth quarter scoring, he’s a guy his team counts on at the end of games.

But really, this should be Lamar Odom’s year. That in spite of his new scent.

If you really like stats, John Schuhmann at NBA.com has a mountain of them. But at the end of the day this is his conclusion.

In fact, the Mavs have been outscored by 3.7 points per 100 possessions in Terry’s first five minutes over the course of the season. Odom, on the other hand, consistently affects the scoreboard in a positive manner for the Lakers. And while Terry has the edge when it comes to putting the ball in the basket, Odom, with superior overall numbers and a bigger defensive impact, should be the clear choice for the Sixth Man Award this season.

As you know by now (especially if you read the MVP posts at PBT) I like efficiency in players. This season Odom is shooting 54.3 percent to Terry’s 45.4 percent. Account for three pointers made and trips to the free throw line, using true shooting percentage, and Odom still leads 59.4 to 54.4. Odom has scored 1.07 points per possession used, compared to 0.97 for Terry (via Synergy Sports).

Odom, like Terry in Dallas, is also a key part of what the Lakers do. Los Angeles has the two-pronged approach of Kobe Bryant and being taller/longer than you. Odom, a point-forward coming off the bench at 6’10” to be a match up nightmare.

This has been Odom’s year. There is a month to go but this should be his award to lose.

  1. lunasceiling - Mar 20, 2011 at 3:38 PM

    If he’d been there all year (and if the Suns weren’t very probably lottery-bound), I think you could make a case for Marcin Gortat. He doesn’t start, but he gets the lion’s share or minutes in that position, and he’s a changed player with the Suns. But things being as they are, yeah…it’s between Odom and Terry. And Odom has the (marginally) better claim… Dang, that’s two Laker-supporting posts in a row. Did I wake up in Bizarro World this morning…”

  2. genericcommenter - Mar 20, 2011 at 6:09 PM

    If he doesn’t start another game this season, Odom will have started 40% of his games. He started the first 30 or so games of the year and his stats are skewed by his starts and early role. 16/10 as a starter and 13/7 as a 6th man. His performance as measure by efficiency is probably lower off the bench as well, as he shot .567 as a starter and only .505 off the bench. His FT and 3P% are up slightly, though- so I don’t know about his true %.

    I am not saying he doesn’t deserve it, just that he spent a huge chunk of the season as a starter and his stats are more impressive as a starter. If he came off the bench all year, averaged 13/7 and shot 50%, I don’t know if his case would be as strong. And if he can considered the frontrunner while only being a 6th man since January, that might open it up to more candidates who haven’t performed in the their current role all season.

  3. rickmirer - Mar 20, 2011 at 7:12 PM

    genericcommenter
    Great post!

  4. omniusprime - Mar 21, 2011 at 9:32 AM

    About time that Lamar Odom gets some well deserved and long overdue credit for his spectacular play this season and seasons past. Odom should have been on the NBA all-star team instead of Kevin Love. Jason Terry might score more than Odom but the Lakers have far better players than the Mavericks. We’ll see which is truly better if the Mavs get unlucky enough to meet the Lakers in the playoffs. Kobe Bryant is still the greatest basketball player in the world and the Repeat World Champion Lakers will Threepeat this June!

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