How Devin Harris Can Win the 6th Man of the Year Award


Will Devin Harris have a shot at winning the 6th man of the year award this season?

Last year the Eastern Conference was surprised by the Toronto Raptors and their surge towards the top of the East. With a team led by Kyle Lowry and DeMar Derozan, it was Lou Williams that took home the hardware by winning the 6th man of the year award.

Williams played all but two games last year while averaging 15.5 PPG on around 25 minutes a game. More importantly, the Raptors also went on to win a franchise record 49 wins.

Feb 11, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors guard Lou Williams (23) celebrates after making a three-point shot against the Washington Wizards at Air Canada Centre. The Raptors beat the Wizards 95-93. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

So how can Devin Harris take home the award this season?


There isn’t a bigger question mark surrounding the Mavericks this season than injuries to key players up and down the roster. With the injury history of Deron Williams and the recovery of Wesley Matthews, Harris could find his minutes up a bit this year.

Last year, he averaged around 22 minutes a game while playing behind a fairly healthy backcourt of Jameer Nelson, Rajon Rondo, and Monta Ellis. This year, with the injuries surrounding the backcourt, Harris will find his number called upon more often.

Not only will playing time go up some for Harris, but his scoring averages should rise up some also due to the injuries. If we see Matthews or Williams miss time for injuries, there will be a large chunk of offense to be had for the next players up.

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His Role

Over this summer, word came from Devin Harris that he was going to playing a lot more off the ball this coming season off the bench. With J.J Barea and Raymond Felton finding time backing up Williams, Harris will find himself as the primary backup to Wesley Matthews during the season.

Throughout the preseason we have seen Carlisle use his bench unit much like he intends to use them in the regular season. Despite injuries to Williams and Matthews, Carlisle has been bringing Harris off the bench in the preseason to replicate his role during the season.

In that second unit, we should see Harris take on much of the scoring role as players such as Evans and even Justin Anderson, are offensively challenged to a degree. Much like Charlie Villanueva, Harris should get 20-25 minutes a night with the sole objective of putting the ball in the basket.

Jenkins is worth a mention, but I think his role could vary over the course of the season. He could start in place of Matthews at the beginning and then he could go towards the end of the bench after the season gets under way. With Harris, we know his role is set in stone as one of the first two guys off the bench ready to fill it up.

Oct 6, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Devin Harris (34) looks to drive as Denver Nuggets guard Emmanuel Mudiay (0) defends during the first quarter at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Team Record

Probably the most important factor is the Dallas Mavericks overall record at the end of the year. A team that barely makes the playoffs or doesn’t at all is very unlikely to produce a 6th man of the year award winner.

So for Harris to have a shot at the award, I would say the Mavericks would have to finish in the top 6 in the West and surprise people around the league. In finishing in the top 6 of the West, that would all but guarantee a season north of 50 wins.

Something else to consider is who else will be considered for the award. Will Jamal Crawford have a big season for a new and improved Clippers bench? Will Andre Iguodala score enough to get the votes? Will Boston make the playoffs again for Isaiah Thomas to get votes again?

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  • Currently my pick of the award is if Kevin McHale decides to bring Ty Lawson off the bench this season and start the defensive-minded Beverly with Harden throughout the season. With the Rockets projected finish and Lawson’s scoring ability, he could take home the award in that situation.

    So how could Devin Harris win the 6th man of the year award?

    1.) The Mavericks finish top six in the Western Conference.

    2.) Harris ups his scoring average to around 15 PPG.

    3.) Injuries/rest takes place for key backcourt players.

    Maybe not the most likely scenario, but not the most impossible scenario either.

    Award winner or not, I expect a bigger year for Devin Harris off the bench this year.

    Next: A Rejuvenated Raymond Felton

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