Who will win the 2014 6th Man of the Year award?

Come on, do you really have to ask? This one's easy. It's Jamal Crawford.

One of the observations that we've made here at Boxscore Geeks and the Wages of Wins is that people really like points, especially when it comes to handing out awards. The voting for the 6th Man of the Year (6MOTY) award is no different. Take a look at the posts we’ve written about this award in the past:

The requirements for the 6MOTY are simple: a player must start fewer than 50% of the games he's played in order to be eligible for the award. Voters love points per game (PPG) and almost always vote for players who play on one of the best teams in the league.

Given these criteria, who will win the award this year? The following is a list of the top players (as sorted by PPG) who have started fewer than 50% of their games and play on a team with a winning record:

Player Team W% PPG Wins
Jamal Crawford 0.700 18.5 2.8
Markieff Morris 0.588 13.7 4.3
Taj Gibson 0.595 13.2 4.7
Reggie Jackson 0.734 13.2 3.9
D.J. Augustin 0.595 13.1 4.5
Jeremy Lin 0.663 12.6 3.5
Manu Ginobili 0.775 12.4 6.0
Ramon Sessions 0.513 12.3 3.7
Vince Carter 0.605 12.0 2.7
Marco Belinelli 0.775 11.3 6.6
Andray Blatche 0.544 11.3 1.8
Darren Collison 0.700 11.3 5.7

Jamal Crawford leads this list by a comfortable margin. As with J.R. Smith last year, there is little doubt that he will win the 6MOTY. But will he deserve it?

To put it simply, the answer is hell no. This season there are 40 bench players who have produced more wins for their teams than Crawford has produced for the Clippers. And even when we limit these players to those on winning teams, that number is still 28. Here are the top 15 players from that list:

Player Team W% PPG Wins
Chris Andersen 0.675 6.7 8.2
Marco Belinelli 0.775 11.3 6.6
Draymond Green 0.620 6.2 6.5
Brandan Wright 0.605 9.0 6.3
Manu Ginobili 0.775 12.4 6.0
Martell Webster 0.525 9.8 6.0
Darren Collison 0.700 11.3 5.7
Mike Miller 0.595 6.9 5.6
Mason Plumlee 0.544 7.1 5.5
Patrick Mills 0.775 10.2 5.1
Ray Allen 0.675 9.5 5.0
Taj Gibson 0.595 13.2 4.7
Marcus Morris 0.588 9.6 4.6
D.J. Augustin 0.595 13.1 4.5
Markieff Morris 0.588 13.7 4.3

Chris Andersen is the most productive bench player playing for a winning team, and it isn't particularly close. Unsurprisingly, the Spurs have three players on this list, and the Heat, Bulls, and Suns have two apiece. Oh, and one of these fifteen players – Darren Collison – plays on the same team as Jamal Crawford. So Crawford isn't even the most deserving player on his own team!

Another prominent candidate – Taj Gibson, who Tom Tibodeau has been pushing – is barely ahead of his own teammate (D.J. Augustin). And Augustin was a mid-season pickup! That doesn't sound like a shoe-in to me.

But one thing that always bothers me about the 6MOTY award is that "playing on a winning team" requirement. As with the MVP, it's possible that the best bench player plays on a losing team. Why punish a productive player for having bad teammates? If we remove that requirement, we get a top 15 that looks like this:

Player Team W% PPG Wins
Anderson Varejao 0.395 8.4 8.4
Chris Andersen 0.675 6.7 8.2
Marco Belinelli 0.775 11.3 6.6
Draymond Green 0.620 6.2 6.5
Jordan Hill 0.316 9.4 6.4
Brandan Wright 0.605 9.0 6.3
Manu Ginobili 0.775 12.4 6.0
Martell Webster 0.525 9.8 6.0
Kris Humphries 0.313 8.4 5.8
Darren Collison 0.700 11.3 5.7
Mike Miller 0.595 6.9 5.6
Mason Plumlee 0.544 7.1 5.5
Patrick Mills 0.775 10.2 5.1
Ray Allen 0.675 9.5 5.0
Maurice Harkless 0.291 7.3 4.9

Now we can actually have a legitimate conversation around who to give the 6MOTY award. It's a battle of the Ændərsəns! Varejao produced more wins, but he also played more minutes, which means that Andersen was better on a per-minute basis. The Birdman gained that edge mostly on the strength of his amazing shooting percentages – he's ranked second in the NBA in TS% among players with more than 1000 minutes played. But Varejao is in the top 10 in both rebounds per minute and rebounding percentage. Then again, Andersen is also top 10 in blocks per minute....

Who would you pick for 6th Man of the Year? You can use the player comparison tool to help make your decision!