2013 NBA Season Awards Predictions: Handing out the hardware on season’s last day

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Sixth Man of the Year: J.R. Smith, New York Knicks

This isn’t set in stone, but I feel that Smith has outproduced the Clippers’ Jamal Crawford enough to earn the honors.

Smith has been exactly what the Knicks needed down the stretch as they clinched the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. Smith has been a contender for this award several times in his career, but his commitment to attacking the basket rather than being a high-volume midrange shooter will clinch it for him this season.

Apr 14, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks shooting guard J.R. Smith (8) argues a foul call during the third quarter against the Indiana Pacers at Madison Square Garden. Knicks won 90-80. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

This award has been back and forth between the two players most of the season. So let’s compare what they have done this year.

Crawford: 16.4 points, 2.5 assists, 1.7 rebounds, 16.6 PER, 43.6% FG, 36.9 3pt%

Smith: 18.1 points, 2.7 assists, 5.3 rebounds, 17.7 PER, 42.2% FG, 35.6 3pt%

Then let’s consider the fact that the Knicks have closed the season winning 15-of-17 while the Clippers have won their past six, which makes what both guys have done all that more impressive late in the season.

However at the end of the day, I feel Smith brought just a tad bit more production off the Knicks’ bench, so he gets the nod.

Runner’s Up: Crawford, Jarrett Jack