As expected Jason Terry won the Sixth Man of the Year award today. He dominated the voting capturing 111 of the 121 first place votes and finishing with 576 points. J.R. Smith was his closest competitor garnering three first place votes, 36 second place votes and 32 third place votes for a total of 155. The only other player to total at least 100 points in the voting was New York’s Nate Robinson who finished with 113.
I think a lot of the voters probably made up their mind on this award early in the season. The stat I imagine most voters used to make up their minds, Terry’s 19.6 to 15.2 points per game average over J.R, was misleading as Terry also had a minutes played per game advantage of 33.9 to 27.7.
If you look closer you can see that there was very little statistical difference between the ratios and percentages for both players. Terry has a slight advantage in points per 40 minutes, 23.2 to 22.0. Both players averaged four assists per 40 minutes. Terry had better field goal (46.3% to 44.6%) and free throw percentages (85.7% to 75.4%), but J.R. surpassed him every so slightly in true shooting percentage (57.6% to 57.1%). Terry also held a small advantage in turnover ratio (7.3 to 10.2). The one major advantage for Smith was rebounding as he nearly doubled Terry’s rebound rate (7.7 to 4.1) which equates to 5.3 rebounds per 40 minutes for Smith and only 2.8 for Terry.
When you throw in the difference in team success I think this should have been a much closer vote.