NBA's Sixth Man race begins

NBA NOTEBOOK — James Harden is starting in Houston, so he's out of the running to defend his crown. Kevin Martin and Jamal Crawford are a couple of the players making strong early bids.
By John Rohde Published: November 17, 2012

About all we know about this year's NBA Sixth Man of the Year is who it won't be.

James Harden was a near-unanimous choice last year with the Thunder, but he now ranks second in the league in minutes played (40.1 per game) while starting for the Houston Rockets.

Several reserves are making strong early bids for this year's Sixth Man honor.

The most intriguing scenario would be the Thunder swapping last year's winner for this year's winner.

Kevin Martin is making OKC fans miss Harden a little less each day.

Harden last year: 31.4 minutes; 16.8 points; 4.1 rebounds; 3.7 assists; .491 from the field; .390 from 3-point range; .846 from free-throw line.

Martin this year: 29.5 mpg; 17.1 ppg; 3.0 rpg; 2.0 apg; .480 FG; .510 3FG; .945 FT.

Jamal Crawford has provided a spark for the Los Angeles Clippers, and flamboyantly at that, with an array of offensive moves off the dribble.

A more mellow nightlife helped J.R. Smith lift New York to a 6-0 start. He's shooting a sizzling 63.6 percent beyond the arc – despite going 0 for 3 in a loss at Memphis on Friday night.

Ray Allen is throwing 3-point daggers from South Beach at a 51.2-percent clip and has made the Heat the league's top 3-point shooting team at 42.9 percent.



SIXTH MAN CANDIDATES

Leaders

1. G Jamal Crawford, LA Clippers (28.3 mpg; 20.5 ppg; .902 FT; .514 FG; .422 3FG)

2. G Kevin Martin, Thunder (29.5 mpg; 17.1 ppg; .945 FT; .510 3FG; .480 FG)

3. G J.R. Smith, New York (34.1 mpg; 16.7 ppg; .813 FT; .636 3FG; .479 FG)

4. G Ray Allen, Miami (26.9 mpg; 12.4 ppg; .821 FT; .512 3FG; .506 FG)

5. F Carl Landry, Golden State (26.6 mpg; 15.3 ppg; 7.7 rpg; .607 FG)

Others

G Andre Miller, Denver (26.4 mpg; 10.4 ppg; 5.4 apg; .842 FT; .444 3FG; .481 FG)

G Jarrett Jack, Golden State (25.1 mpg; 8.9 ppg; 4.1 apg; .882 FT; .500 3FG; .484 FG)

C JaVale McGee, Denver (19.4 mpg; 10.8 ppg; 5.9 rpg; .818 FT; .571 FG)

F Larry Sanders, Milwaukee (25.0 mpg; 10.1 ppg; 8.6 rpg.; .652 FG)

G Mike Dunleavy, Milwaukee (26.3 mpg; 11.3 ppg; .538 3FG; .500 FG)

G Ramon Sessions, Charlotte (27.4 mpg; 16.3 ppg; 4.6 apg; .783 FT; .402 FG)

G Lou Williams, Atlanta (23.6 mpg; 14.1 ppg; .833 FT; .300 3FG)

G Marcus Thornton, Sacramento (30.1 mpg; 14.8 ppg; .810 FT; .400 FG)

G Shannon Brown, Phoenix (21.9 mpg; 13.3 ppg; .844 FT; .400 3FG; .412 FG)

F Derrick Favors, Utah (24.1 mpg; 9.5 ppg; 7.4 rpg; .471 FG)

G Randy Foye, Utah (25.7 mpg; 11.5 ppg; .870 FT; .434 3FG)

G Vince Carter, Dallas (24.2 mpg; 12.1 ppg; .741 FT; .340 3FG)

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