NBA Sixth Man of the Year Power Rankings: Austin Reaves rises, new name makes list

Dec 16, 2023; Portland, Oregon, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Tim Hardaway Jr.
Dec 16, 2023; Portland, Oregon, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Tim Hardaway Jr. / Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports
5 of 6

2. Cole Anthony

Last week's rank: 1

Cole Anthony held the top spot for a couple of weeks, but he has since relinquished the leading spot after several mediocre performances. Anthony only appeared in two games this past week.

And in those two games, he averaged 12.5 points, 1.0 rebounds, and 4.0 assists. While the numbers weren't eye-popping, he does get a pass. He only played an average of 19.5 minutes per game over the past week. About six minutes below his average.

On the year, Anthony is averaging 15.2 points, 4.3 boards, and 3.6 assists per game. The Orlando guard putting up these numbers with great efficiency. He's shooting 45.8 percent from the field and 38.2 percent from distance, both career-highs.

Anthony has provided positive offense as well as defense for the contending Magic. Although Anthony's on/off splits depict a negative defensive impact, he ranks among the best in most defensive analytics.

Perhaps Anthony's good defense is indicative of the dominant Orlando defense, but basketball is a team game and Anthony does his part and more on the defensive end.

The Magic guard ranks in the top 60 in both defensive win shares and defensive box plus/minus. Although he doesn't, and never has posted gaudy defensive stats, 1.2 "stocks" per game is impressive for a bench guard.

Anthony's spot in the top five is relatively safe for now. However, he does have several players breathing down his neck. The Orlando guard ascended due to exceptional play and his team's success. But, all of a sudden the Magic have lost two straight with some tough games upcoming.