NBA Sixth Man Contenders: J.R. Smith or Manu Ginobili?

Alex TangCorrespondent IApril 16, 2008

Now before you leave me a comment saying, "You're biased" because of this article's picture, let me explain to you why J.R. Smith of the Denver Nuggets should be the NBA's Sixth Man.  

The only other contender I consider is the San Antonio Spurs' Manu Ginobili. 

Now we can compare stats, or we can compare attitudes of the players.  Ginobili has always been looking out for his teammates during games in case he gets double-teamed and has nowhere to go.

J.R. Smith has changed this year—even George Karl said it himself.  In Smith's previous three years, he was considered by some as a ball hog, and on top of that, people didn't like him even more because he gave himself an outrageous nickname, "Young Rich." 

Ginobili, who has averaged 19.6 PPG, 4.5 APG, and 40 percent shooting outside of the arch, has played in 73 games and started 23 for the Spurs the 2007-2008 season.  His field goal percentage is 45 percent—fairly average—and he's also an 85 percent free throw shooter.  Ginobili also plays an average of 31.1 minutes per game. 

Smith, who has averaged 12.2 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 1.7 APG and a 40 percent shooting from beyond the arch, has played in 73 games and started none, also having a 46 percent field-goal percentage.

Smith has undoubtedly been an outstanding contribution to the Nuggets success in reaching the playoffs.  He plays an average of 19.2 minutes per game.  

You can compare side-by-side stats that I have just provided you, but you can see how much less minutes Smith plays than Ginobili.  Almost 12 minutes less playing time on the game-floor, you might easily be able to see how much Smith really could score if he played as much as Ginobili.  

Another thing to take into mind is consistency.

I don't know about you, but I've seen a few bad games from Ginobili this season, also a couple from Smith.  But in the bad games that both have played, has Ginobili had 15-plus?  Not in all of them.

The point trying to be made here is that Smith has consistency.  He plays with style and even though it doesn't seem like it, he enjoys and cherishes every minute on the game-floor, entertaining the thousands of fans.

Ginobili has that consistency, but something about Smith makes him stand out to me. 

What about you?  What do you think of this article, and who do you think should be the NBA's Sixth Man for the 2007-2008 season?  Comment and we'll talk.


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