J.R. Smith Is Your Sixth Man of the Year

J.R. Smith #8 of the New York Knicks rebounds against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on April 11, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois.
J.R. Smith. Photo: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Cheers to J.R. Smith, who’s reportedly going to be named the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year today. With all due respect to Jamal Crawford, the honor isn’t unexpected: Smith has been a key part of the Knicks off the bench this year, averaging 18.1 points per game in 80 games. As Howard Megdal points out, Smith actually led the Knicks in minutes played this season with 2,678, despite not starting a single game — though that’s partially a function of his remaining healthy, as starters Carmelo Anthony and Raymond Felton both averaged more minutes than Smith but missed double-digit games with injuries. He’s the first Knick to win the award since John Starks in 1996–97.