Despite having the most double-doubles off the bench, producing the most double-digit scoring efforts off the bench and leading the league in total bench points by more than 100, Markieff Morris finished only fourth in the Sixth Man of the Year voting, an award for players who make their living coming off the bench in place of a starter.
Morris received the second-most third-place votes, but otherwise was 3rd to 4th best candidate for Sixth Man of the Year for most everyone outside the Phoenix metro area.
On one hand, you might think the Suns should win a collective award for being in the running for so many awards this season as they surprised the league with a 48-34 record. But even then, the Suns would miss out to the Spurs or Clippers anyway.
- Most Improved (Goran Dragic): 1st (WINNER!)
- Coach of Year (Jeff Hornacek): 2nd
- Executive of Year (Ryan McDonough): 2nd
- Sportsmanship (Channing Frye): 3rd
- Sixth Man of Year (Markieff Morris): 4th
- Most Improved (Gerald Green): 4th
- Most Improved (Markieff Morris): 10th
- MVP (Goran Dragic): 16th
It seems that coming up short of the playoffs has been a death knell for voting in every award outside the 'Most Improved', which is generally open to players outside the playoff picture as a pat on the head effort.
These other awards are apparently reserved for the big boys who make the playoffs.
Manu Ginobili finished 3rd in the voting which looks like another lifetime achievement award for the Spurs. After RC Buford wrested the Exec award for signing Marco Belinelli and doing nothing else, and Gregg Popovich won the coach award, now Ginobili finishes ahead of Morris.
Manu Ginobili put up 12.3 points, 3.0 rebounds and 4.3 assists in just under 23 minutes per game this season - all but the assists being less than Morris produced. Ginobili also missed 14 games, while Morris only missed 1 (suspension on opening night).
Taj Gibson finished 2nd in the voting, but it should have been he or Morris winning the thing. Gibson is a wonderful defensive player and pulled down more rebounds than Morris, while still averaging double digits in scoring.
Jamal Crawford was the winner, but more than half his points were scored as a starting player and he barely came off the bench for half the season. Giving this award to Crawford is a slap in the face to those players who spent the entire year doing what the award was created for: COMING OFF THE BENCH!
If the award was meant for guys who had seasons like Crawford's, it would have been called "NBA PART TIME STARTER OF THE YEAR".