NBA Award Watch: Mike D’Antoni has Rockets on the rise

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Dec 2, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lou Williams (23) warms up before the start of their game against the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre. The Raptors beat the Lakers 113-80. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports /

Sixth Man of the Year: Lou Williams

One of the most interesting awards races to keep an eye on the rest of the way in the NBA has to be Sixth Man of the Year. Will the NBA be getting another repeat winner in Los Angeles Lakers guard Lou Williams? Does Sixth Man end up going to a true center in the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Enes Kanter?

These two have been battling back and forth for Sixth Man for the last several weeks. While the Lakers have stunk recently, Williams has not coming off their bench. Williams is averaging 19.2 points, 3.3 assists, and 2.5 rebounds per game for a Lakers team he started just one game for this season.

His PER of 24.2 is the best of any non-starter in the NBA. Williams is responsible for 2.5 Win Shares and is shooting the ball magnificently coming off the Los Angeles bench. Williams is shooting 45.3 from the field, 38.9 on 3-pointers, and 86.8 percent at the free throw line. This gives Williams a stellar 53.1 effective field goal percentage.

Since he has already won Sixth Man as a member of the 2014-15 Toronto Raptors, Williams looks poised to win his second Sixth Man in three seasons. The only thing preventing him from doing so would be a Lakers’ second season collapse, a lengthy shooting slump, and Kanter’s continued excellence in the Oklahoma City paint.