UTAH, May 24, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson has been named the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year.
Clarkson was awarded the honor Monday evening during a surprise interview on TNT, said a news release from the Utah Jazz. Clarkson thought he was sitting down to discuss the possibility with his teammate and fellow Sixth Man finalist Joe Ingles, when Ingles broke the news.
Clarkson is the first Utah Jazz player to ever win the honor. He beat out Ingles and Knicks star Derrick Rose for the award.
Clarkson led all NBA reserves in scoring with 18.3 points per game (career-high) off the bench, to go along with 4.0 rebounds and 2.4 assists, becoming the first player since Manu Ginobili in 2007-08 to average over 18 points, four boards and two assists as a reserve (min. 50 gp).
Coming into the year, winning the award was a stated goal of Clarkson’s.
“Definitely it was one of my goals going into this year, to go get that and play that role,” he said earlier this year.
Clarkson hit a league-best 203 three-point field goals off the bench, which was the most in the NBA and fourth most threes by a reserve in NBA history. His 3.0 threes made per game average was the third best three-point rate by a player coming off the bench all-time (min 50 gp).
The six-year pro posted 23 games with 20-or-more points, five games with 30-or-more points and two 40-plus point contests in 2020-21, the most by any player off the bench all season. He was the first player since Lou Williams during the 2018-19 season with multiple 40-point games as a reserve.
Clarkson was instrumental in Utah’s 134-123 win against the Philadelphia 76ers on Feb. 15, scoring 40 points in just 29 minutes, also knocking down a career-high-tying eight three-point field goals, the news release said. It marked only the third time since 1983-84 that a player off the bench scored 40-or-more points in 29 minutes or less.
On May 10 at Golden State, he racked up 41 points in 35 minutes, tying the second most points all-time by a Jazz player off the bench.