Few embody sixth man expertise, function higher than Williams

No one in NBA historical past will get buckets off the bench like LA Clippers guard Lou Williams, the recently-crowned all-time main sixth man scorer. He’s the modern-day model of ex-Detroit Pistons nice Vinnie Johnson, whose “Microwave” nickname completely outlined his function: warmth up (scoring-wise) in a rush.

That, in a nutshell, describes Williams as nicely, particularly recently. A few of his latest video games have been sixth-man epic — he scorched earth on the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder with 40 factors in 34 minutes, adopted that up three nights later with 34 factors in simply 23 minutes towards the Boston Celtics when he claimed the bench scoring file from Dell Curry.


Lou Williams made some sixth-man historical past earlier this week vs. Boston.

He’s averaging 20.three factors in 26.5 minutes per recreation, with eight 30-point video games – six of which have are available his final 17 video games. This excessive effectivity comes as Williams, 32, is in his 13th NBA season.

“Should you’ve executed something that ends in ‘ever’ within the NBA, that’s fairly spectacular,” mentioned Clippers coach Doc Rivers.

How deeply does Williams determine with the sixth man? Effectively, Drake made Williams a legend by writing “6 Man,” which dropped 5 years in the past when the participant was with Drake’s hometown Toronto Raptors. The catchy verse goes: “Like I’m Lou Will, I simply obtained the brand new deal.”

Effectively, Williams obtained the Kia NBA Sixth Man Award in 2014-15, the primary of two for him (he additionally gained final season).


Lou Williams dropped a season-best 45 factors on the Wolves final month.

This all makes Williams maybe the best sixth man ever, particularly if he wins a 3rd profession award to tie Jamal Crawford, his mentor and pleasant rival. If the aim of the sixth man is to enter the sport halfway by way of the primary quarter and make an prompt scoring splash, who matches that greater than Williams?

However what isn’t addressed the elemental query that at all times get misplaced when debating the sixth man: If Williams is so good, why doesn’t he begin?

That is what makes the sixth man probably the most complicated place within the sport — as a result of there isn’t a place on the ground with a extra ambiguous definition. Shouldn’t a “true” sixth man be somebody who’s roughly be extra reflective of somebody on the bench?

Williams, nevertheless, backs up rookie Landry Shamut — who arrived on the commerce deadline. Earlier than that, Williams was backing up Avery Bradley. Neither participant is on Williams’ degree.


Lou Williams gained his first Kia NBA Sixth Man Award in 2014-15 with Toronto.

There’s a wealthy historical past of Sixth Man Award winners who got here off the bench out of desire by their coach, not as a result of they have been true bench gamers. The inaugural winner, Sixers legend Bobby Jones, was a much better choice at small ahead than starter Marc Iavaroni in 1982-83. The Boston Celtics’ Kevin McHale, who gained the award in ’84 and ‘85, is a Corridor of Famer and among the finest low-post gamers ever.

Wouldn’t Manu Ginobili have been simply as strong a participant for the San Antonio Spurs had he began as a substitute of being a reserve? Almost certainly, sure.

The notion of a “sixth man” was created by legendary Celtics coach Pink Auerbach. He theorized Boston had sufficient scorers within the beginning lineup, however suffered once they rested. Corridor of Famer John Havlicek stuffed that function to nice success as groups and coaches stole Auerbach’s concept.


The LA Clippers scored an enormous win towards OKC behind Lou Williams.

Most sixth males are scorers solely and a few are poor defenders. By limiting their minutes, coaches can conceal their flaws. Sixth males additionally normally guard opposing bench gamers and aren’t on the ground lengthy sufficient to break their very own workforce.

Greater than something, nice sixth males are afforded the next standing than different reserves and might compete for the Kia Sixth Man Award. It compensates for the horror of being a starter, a perk meaning extra to gamers (and their households) than you suppose. Other than that introduction, sixth males and starters will be exhausting to inform aside. They’ve roughly the identical degree of significance and are sometimes on the ground collectively late in video games.

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