Tuesday, April 30, 2013

'The Sixth Element'

Jack is like thunder to Curry's lightning.
At times, it looks like Jarrett Jack actually enjoys contact.  If he played in the NFL, he'd probably be a wide receiver; the guy you can count on to make the tough catch over the middle on 3rd & long.  Physical guy, but can really handle the rock and hits at around 40-percent from 3-point range.  Best thing that happened to him is playing on the Golden State Warriors, because his hard nosed style compliments backcourt mates Steph Curry and Klay Thompson very well, because those guys are finesse players.

J. R. Smith, he never met a shot he didn't like.  If he crosses the half court line and no one is guarding him, trust and believe he feels like he's wide open.  No pressure playing under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden for the New York Knicks either.  Straight fearless shooter that can miss 10 shots in a row and still have the absolute confidence that number 11 will go down pure.  And don't dare challenge him at the rim.  Jadakiss already told us in the song, only he gets higher than J.R. does.

When Crawford is on the floor, no ankles are safe.
The term 'nutmeg' became mainstream when Jamal Crawford put on a Los Angeles Clippers jersey.  Combine Lob City catalysts Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan with the sick ball handling ability of Crawford and it's like watching the dopest And 1 mixtape ever made, right there at Staples Center.

If you were in a time capsule for the past five years, then came out and watched highlights of all three of these guys from the 2012-13 NBA season, there's no way that you would think any of them were not starters.  Of course, you would be shocked and amazed to find out that all three guys actually do come off the bench. 

Just to be clear, no one is saying that having a star player come off the bench is a new phenomena in the NBA or anything like that.  Guys in the 1980s like Kevin McHale and Vinnie 'The Microwave' Johnson really popularized the role, while John Starks, Detlef Schrempf, and Manu Ginobili would carry on the tradition in later years. 

Smith can put the team on his shoulders with his scoring ability.
However, this 2013 class of NBA sixth men is the most dynamic we've seen at any point in the history of the game.  Furthermore, the argument can be made that this decade (the 2010s?) has changed the game to the point where teams are opting to have that electrifying type player start the game on the pine; even if he might be well qualified to be in the starting line up. 

James Harden, the 2012 Sixth Man of the Year Award  with the Oklahoma City Thunder, is now the focal point of the Houston Rockets offense as the starting 2-guard.  Jason Terry (2009 SMOY) was huge for the Dallas Mavericks when they won the 2011 NBA Championship.  Nate Robinson does work for the Chicago Bulls.  Even Chris "Birdman" Andersen is receiving huge hype coming off the bench for this year's defending champion Miami Heat, stealing some of the spotlight from LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. 

Smith won the award this year, but it wouldn't have been an outcry if Crawford or Jack would've won.  All three guys are about as explosive as it gets in the NBA, and their teams don't mind starting the game without them on the floor...as long as they finish.