Why Patty Mills will win Sixth Man of the Year

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Orlando Magic

We’ve seen the sixth man of the year award mostly given to the player who just scores the most points and nothing else. This is why Jamal Crawford, Lou Williams, J.R. Smith (before he discovered how to defend) and James Harden have won the award prior.

However if the media decide to vote a different way and pick a true two way sixth man then Patty Mills should be firmly in people’s discussions when looking at this the award.

While still early in the NBA season, Mills has shown that he is the best sixth man in the league at this current time. His numbers when playing from the bench are 10.2 points, 2.7 assists, 1.2 steals per game which may not seem like a great set of numbers but a look further paints a clearer picture.

His percentages have been elite-like and nearly approaching the heralded 180 total with a field goal percentage of 48.8, a 40.4 three point percentage and also 93.8% from the line.

Out of all bench players who have played more than 4 games and have averaged more than 12 minutes this season, he currently possesses the sixth highest net rating of 15, the 3rd highest offensive rating of 114.3 and is 7th with a +/- of 5.1.

A look below at the following tables shows how Patty Mills compares to the other award competitors from opposing teams this season.

BENCH DEF RATING* PTS OFF Rating DEF Rating Net Rating eFG% +/-
Patty Mills 10.2 114.3 99.9 15 60.6 5.1
Andre Igoudala (OKC) 5.5 116.4 101.6 14.8 49.4 7.4
Wilson Chandler (DEN) 16.7 102.9 101.8 1.1 50.0 1.7
Jamal Crawford (LAC) 11.2 108.0 103.5 4.5 47.4 3.8
Terrence Ross (TOR) 10.3 111.6 104.0 7.6 59.2 2.9
Zach Randolph (MEM) 14.2 97.2 104.1 -6.9 48.9 -0.7
Doug McDermott (CHI) 10.6 108.8 104.6 4.2 56.9 3.1
Marcus Smart (BOS) 9.9 104.7 104.6 0.1 42.1 -0.1
Marco Belinelli (CHA) 10.2 105.7 105.3 0.4 52.2 0.9
Enes Kanter (OKC) 11.9 100.8 106.0 -5.2 55.4 -1.6
Brandon Knight (PHO) 12.7 97.8 106.5 -8.7 41.7 -6.4
Jordan Clarkson (LAL) 14.9 106.7 106.7 0 51.0 -0.4
Evan Turner (POR) 8.6 97.1 113.8 -16.7 42.9 -9.3

 

EFG% RATING* PTS OFF Rating DEF Rating Net Rating eFG% +/-
Patty Mills 10.2 114.3 99.9 15 60.6 5.1
Terrence Ross (TOR) 10.3 111.6 104.0 7.6 59.2 2.9
Doug McDermott (CHI) 10.6 108.8 104.6 4.2 56.9 3.1
Enes Kanter (OKC) 11.9 100.8 106.0 -5.2 55.4 -1.6
Marco Belinelli (CHA) 10.2 105.7 105.3 0.4 52.2 0.9
Jordan Clarkson (LAL) 14.9 106.7 106.7 0 51.0 -0.4
Wilson Chandler (DEN) 16.7 102.9 101.8 1.1 50.0 1.7
Andre Igoudala (OKC) 5.5 116.4 101.6 14.8 49.4 7.4
Zach Randolph (MEM) 14.2 97.2 104.1 -6.9 48.9 -0.7
Jamal Crawford (LAC) 11.2 108.0 103.5 4.5 47.4 3.8
Evan Turner (POR) 8.6 97.1 113.8 -16.7 42.9 -9.3
Marcus Smart (BOS) 9.9 104.7 104.6 0.1 42.1 -0.1
Brandon Knight (PHO) 12.7 97.8 106.5 -8.7 41.7 -6.4

 

What these stats show is that when comparing to the other big name six men, he possesses the best defensive rating and effective field goal percentage. Meaning that the San Antonio Spurs this season can truly rely on him to keep the momentum going or start a comeback while also shooting phenomenally.

So while his points of 10.2 doesn’t seem like a lot compared to players like Wilson Chandler (16.7) OR Jordan Clarkson (14.9), his impact beyond the numbers shows he is the best bench player in the entire league.

Isn’t that what the Sixth man of the year award is all about? A player who can come in and do everything on the court to help the team in whatever scenario it represents. What Mills numbers shows is that he can be the answer to any scenario. He can score, he can defend, he can be the perfect spot up shooter on the perimeter when playing with some of the starters.

So while he is not your prototypical sixth man of the year award winner, the impact that Patty Mills has on both sides of the floor should be seen by the voters as the best bench player in the league.

Therefore, while only a month of NBA basketball has passed, the early favourite for the sixth man of the year award should be Patty Mills.

*Statistics current as at November 25

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