Ray Allen vs. Jamal Crawford: Who Will Win the NBA's 6th Man of the Year Award?

LeBron BryantAnalyst INovember 8, 2012

MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 30: Ray Allen #34 of the Miami Heat shoots a free throw against the Boston Celtics at American Airlines Arena on October 30, 2012 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

The NBA is back.

Yes, it's early in the season, but still an opportunity to set expectations and make predictions.

Two of the best shooters in the NBA switched teams this offseason and are thriving on their respective teams.  

They are none other than Ray Allen and Jamal Crawford. With both players off to hot starts, one can only wonder who will sustain their level of play and capture the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year Award?

Sure, Jason Terry will likely do well in Beantown. Lou Williams can always put up points for the Hawks. But neither have the teammates that Allen and Crawford boast. This will be very important in terms of consistency because the open looks will not go away.

While Crawford is in a familiar role coming off the bench for the Los Angeles Clippers, Ray Allen finds himself in this position for the first time in his career with the Miami Heat.

Allen is used to starting, but hasn't seemed to have any problems in his new role. In fact he's thriving, averaging over 15 points per game. He didn't have to wait long for a big moment in Miami, nailing a game-winner in only his third game as a member of the Heat.

The problem with Allen winning the award may be the same reason he could actually win it: his teammates.

LeBron James and Dwyane Wade will do a great job at getting Ray Allen open looks, but the Heat have others who will also get those same shots. Some games Allen might get 15 shot attempts, other times he'll get six.

Jamal Crawford is in a position where he has to score. He is the fire starter for the Clippers off the bench and a necessity every night. With Chauncey Billups still sidelined, look for Crawford to average around 20 points per game to run away with the sixth man award.  

However, if the Heat put together a dominant season as predicted and the Clippers finish anywhere outside the top four in the West, Allen may just creep in for the steal.


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