Jeremy Lin: Sixth Man of the Year?


The Charlotte Hornets have recently signed one of the most popular players in the game today in Jeremy Lin. The two sides have inked a two year-$4 million+ deal with a player option after the first year.

This was a great deal for both sides. Lin is trying to rebuild his game and show that he can be a starter in this league after a so-so season in Los Angeles in Byron Scott‘s system that was not Lin friendly. Jeremy has shown that he has the ability to start at point guard in this league and also be a valuable player off the bench. The Hornets are in need of offense and scoring. They made moves in the off-season to help with that and that’s exactly what Lin is for as well. The team is looking for Lin to come off the bench and be their main scoring option with the second group. He will serve as the teams sixth man next season.

Hornets head coach, Steve Clifford, said that he wants to play Kemba Walker and Jeremy Lin together. Clifford sees Lin as a combo guard who can play alongside Walker when the team wants to use a smaller line-up.

If Charlotte plans to use Lin off the bench and give him quality minutes then I think a viable question arises, could Jeremy Lin win the NBA’s sixth man of the year award?

The sixth man of the year award goes to the best bench player in the league in a each season. These are the qualifications for the award and how a player wins as well.

"A panel of sportswriters and broadcasters from throughout the United States and Canada votes on the recipient. Each judge casts a vote for first, second and third place selections. Each first-place vote is worth five points; each second-place vote is worth three points; and each third-place vote is worth one point. The player with the highest point total, regardless of the number of first-place votes, wins the award. To be eligible for the award, a player must come off the bench in more games than he starts."

It is, to the best of my knowledge, that Jeremy Lin will definitely come off the bench in more games than he starts for the Charlotte Hornets next season barring ay injuries to starting point guard Kemba Walker. Lin was brought in to come off the bench and provide much-needed scoring for the team.

The sixth man of the year award has gone to a guard nine of the last ten seasons. Most of them have been shooting guard but with the role that Lin is going to play next season it seems as though he will be more of a scoring point guard off the bench rather than a traditional passing point guard. That’s not to say that he can’t pass because he will definitely average over 5-6 assists per game, which will only help his campaign for sixth man of the year.

There is no doubt in my mind that Lin will meet the expectations of the Hornets organization and possibly exceed them. Over the course of his career Lin has averaged 11.7 points per game and 4.8 assists per game. He is a five-year NBA veteran that understand how to play in this league.

Last season with the Los Angeles Lakers, Lin averaged 11.2 PPG and 4.6 APG, which is just off his career marks. And that was with a team and system that did not fit his style.

In Clifford’s offense Lin will have the ability to play freely and use his speed to his advantage like he has done in the past. Lin will be able to use pick and roll and transition opportunities to get to the basket where he is best at finishing.

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With that opportunity that Lin will have in Charlotte, I fully expect him to take as much of an advantage from it as he can. He will get his minutes this season off the bench and could easily average more than his career average in both points per game and assists per game. Which would be more than 12 PPG and 5 APG. I could see Lin averaging 13-16 points per game and 6-8 assists per game if everything goes right for him and he gets the minutes that he should get with the team. The players around him will also help him play better than the players that were around him last season.

If everything goes right for the Hornets and for Lin then he will end up as one of the top candidates for the sixth man of the year award. And possibly even win the award.