Joe Ingles is closing in on teammate Jordan Clarkson in the 6MOY race at various sportsbooks. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)
- Joe Ingles’ Sixth Man of the Year odds have shortened all the way down to +175
- Ingles has recently put pressure on Jazz teammate Jordan Clarkson for the award
- How strong is Ingles’ case to win Sixth Man of the Year? See updated odds and a breakdown of the race below
In the absence of Mike Conley and Donovan Mitchell, Joe Ingles has strengthened his case for Sixth Man of the Year. Having long been no more than an outsider with Jordan Clarkson heavily favored, Ingles’ Sixth Man of the Year odds have moved to their shortest price of the year.
Clarkson remains odds-on to win the award. This award is no longer the slam dunk it was for most of the season, despite the former Laker scoring 18.4 points per game. Jalen Brunson is the only other player at shorter than +10000 with DraftKings.
Sixth Man of the Year Odds
|Player||Odds at DraftKings|
Odds as of May 17th
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Sixth Man Reputation
Joe Ingles has to overcome a set narrative to win Sixth Man. Not only has Jordan Clarkson been the assumed winner throughout the season, he also fits the image that many voters have of a Sixth Man. Clarkson is the gunner from the bench, the score-first option that so many think of when they envisage a Sixth Man. He’s a version of Lou Williams and Jamal Crawford, while Ingles is a different, albeit more effective, player.
Donovan Mitchell on Joe Ingles’ impact on the Jazz;
“For a guy that’s been in the league 25, 30 years, it’s easy to say ‘His knowledge of the game,’ or whatever.”
(via @tribjazz) pic.twitter.com/rzKeKGERGB
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) March 20, 2021
Clarkson is that sparkplug off the bench that remains a sixth man even when the starters are depleted.
He has started just one game this campaign, 29 fewer than Ingles. Where Clarkson remains the bench scorer regardless of starter availability, Ingles is the next man in when one of the starters sits out. He has been effectively playing point guard when Conley and Mitchell have been out.
What Ingles has done late in the season demonstrates what a rounded player he is. Stepping into a different role when required, his value to Quin Snyder is incredibly high.
Jordan Clarkson tonight:
He is the first player in NBA history to score 40+ points, take 15+ threes while recording 0 assists off the bench. pic.twitter.com/fBqKuiYyQR
— StatMuse (@statmuse) May 11, 2021
One key question for this award is how voters will value Ingles’ contributions as a starter. Does excelling as a starter boost a Sixth Man case? Or are those performances less relevant than a bench stalwart like Clarkson delivering throughout the year?
Efficiency vs Volume
It can become reductive, of course, but a lot of NBA discourse ends up being about efficiency versus volume. That’s the core of the Clarkson vs Ingles debate here, too.
Clarkson is scoring over six points more per game. He’s taking 7.4 more shots in around a minute less on the court. Ingles is overmatched in most traditional categories apart from assists, where he leads 4.7 to 2.5.
If people are genuinely surprised or mad about you having Joe Ingles over Jordan Clarkson for Sixth Man of the Year, it’s a clear indication of how much they’ve actually watched.
— Shane Young (@YoungNBA) May 14, 2021
Efficiency is a thumbs up for Ingles. He’s at 67.2% true shooting, the best mark in the league among non-centers. Clarkson is at 54.9% true shooting, putting him 136th in the league, behind Devonte’ Graham, Derrick White and Marvin Bagley.
Ingles has played one game fewer than Clarkson, yet he’s far clear in win shares, too. Advanced numbers heavily favor the Aussie, with seven win shares to 4.2 and a 3.4 box plus/minus to Clarkson’s 1.1.
Of players to score 16 or more points per game for the season, only eight did so with a lower field goal percentage than Clarkson. Of players to attempt at least seven threes per game, just Eric Gordon, Victor Oladipo and Anthony Edwards shot a lower percentage from downtown.
Ingles Deserves the Award
There’s value backing Ingles to win this award. For all Clarkson’s scoring, his teammate has put up the far superior all-round season. It is only quantity which leans in Clarkson’s favor.
Of course, that could still be enough to secure him Sixth Man of the Year. He fits the image many have of a Sixth Man, and scoring 18+ off the bench is still an impressive feat.
If it wasn’t for the seemingly unassailable lead Clarkson built earlier in the year, Ingles would be favorite right now. He deserves to win it, and the numbers should win plenty of voters over.
Sam Cox is a freelance writer and sports junkie, who has spent the past several years immersed in the online gaming industry. He has worked with 888sport, Oddschecker, and Colossus Bets to name a few. Based in the UK, Sam also runs Franchise Sports with his brother.