Who led the Clippers in fourth quarter scoring this season? No, not the future hall-of-famer Chris Paul or sharpshooter J.J. Redick. Believe it or not, that distinction would go to Mr. Jamal Crawford and at 36 years old, he just claimed his record-setting third Sixth Man of the Year Award.
The prototypical sixth man, always capable of entering the game and instantly lighting up a defense, Crawford played a crucial role in the Clippers' fourth consecutive 50-win season. He came off the bench for 74 of his 79 games and averaged 14.2 points a game on 40/34/90 shooting. Though the percentages aren't overwhelmingly efficient, Jamal's value lies in his ability to provide offensive firepower that keeps the defense on their heels, no matter the situation. After a slow start to the season, Jamal stepped up in a big way once Blake Griffin went down, bolstering the second unit and becoming a mainstay of the Clippers' crunch-time five.
Crawford edged out Andre Iguodala and Enes Kanter to break his own record, set two years ago, as the oldest ever recipient of the award. Maybe there's something to that Benjamin Button joke his teammates keep going on about... Here's what they had to say as they took to Twitter this morning:
3rd times a charm...— Blake Griffin (@blakegriffin32) April 18, 2016
Congrats to THREE TIME 6th Man of the Year @JCrossover! Nothing but love and respect, fam!— JJ Redick (@JJRedick) April 19, 2016
It's is a pleasure to watch you play every night, and honored to have you as a teammate!! Congratulations! !!! https://t.co/wj9d5XdXWx— Pablo Prigioni (@PPrigioni9) April 19, 2016
No other player makes me run the emotional gamut quite like Jamal. In just a matter of seconds I can go between anger, incredulity, and disbelief (often several times and not always in that order) as he weaves, crosses, and heaves up a shot that has no business hitting the rim, let alone so softly finding the bottom of the net as it so often does. A well-deserved award and congratulations to the most decorated sixth man of all time.