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The Case for Golden State Warriors' Jarrett Jack as NBA's 6th Man of the Year

OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 21:  Jarrett Jack #2 of the Golden State Warriors gestures towards the crowd after making a basket against the Los Angeles Clippers at Oracle Arena on January 21, 2013 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Scott BurnsCorrespondent IIIMarch 5, 2013

Jarrett Jack might come off the bench, but he is the heart and soul of the Golden State Warriors as their sixth man.  Jack is the steady influence that helps team leader Stephen Curry blossom and the guy who comes in when the crucial shot is needed.

Jack is a fan favorite who is really cherishing his new surroundings as he engages his audience after every clutch possession.  He is cold-blooded and hot-handed, while he makes a legitimate case for Sixth Man of the Year Award.

He has definitely transitioned himself from the guy who was looked upon as the fallback option for Stephen Curry to a guy who is in the game in clutch situations.  Jack is routinely called upon to enter into the game when the Warriors need to close it out, while Curry shifts over to the 2-guard spot.

The month of February was a coming-out party for Jack. He averaged 18.4 PPG, 6.0 APG and 2.3 RPG in 32.4 minutes per game.  He shot 48.7 percent from behind the arc and 91.2 percent from the free-throw line.  He was instrumental in helping stop the six-game losing streak.

Oh, and he was the guy they relied upon when they sported their short sleeve jerseys and beat the San Antonio Spurs at home for the first time since 2008.

Jack takes the bounce pass from Curry and drives to the hoop, where he makes a gorgeous move by ducking underneath an oncoming Manu Ginobili and gets the kiss off the glass with his layup.

The next clip is something that we have seen all season from Jack.  He isolates Tony Parker, takes a couple of dribbles and just sticks the jumper in front of Parker. 

The case being made for Jack can get even stronger if the Warriors make the playoffs.  The team has gone through a pretty rough stretch recently, but the Warriors play the last 16 of 22 at home, all starting with a seven-game homestand.

Jack has to come up clutch after a rocky last couple of road games on a 1-4 road trip.  He knows what it takes to get a team to the playoffs, and he needs to make it happen in Oakland.  He played with Chris Paul on the New Orleans Hornets during the 2010-11 NBA season and they lost a first-round series to the Los Angeles Lakers (4-2).

He will need to get the Warriors there in doing anything possible, like in this shot against the Memphis Grizzlies.

Jarrett Jack dribbles up and then drives to the left to evade both Tony Allen and Zach Randolph.  After he gets by Randolph, he runs into Allen again.  He fakes, which gets Allen to literally fall on him, and somehow throws up a prayer that goes in the bucket.

Jack is known for his work as a clutch shooter and a scorer, but the man can also pass the ball.  He has a 5.7 APG average this season, which is well above his career 4.3 average.  By helping feed David Lee or Andrew Bogut down low or being able to kick it out to his wings in Harrison Barnes, Klay Thompson and Steph Curry, Jack maximizes his opportunities.

One of his best helpers is shown in the clip below, where Jack was another factor in putting the hurt on the Los Angeles Clippers.

Andris Biedrins makes a huge block on former teammate Matt Barnes, which leads to the Warriors' fast break.  Jack gets the ball and drives all the way down the court and looks to go in for a layup.   As he drives to the hoop, he gets two Clippers to commit to him and makes an unbelievable over-the-shoulder pass to Carl Landry for the layup.

Finally, Jack has the calm that is needed to settle his team.  He is never frazzled, and when the team starts giving up big runs, Jack is the first person to be called in to stop the slide.  He calls out teammates for missed assignments and was the one to let Curry know that now is the time he needs to step up.

Jack can show off his talents to win the award.  He needs to buckle down and get his team focused on the team’s only mission: to make the playoffs.  If the Warriors start winning at home and solidify a playoff spot—it only helps Jack.

If he can continue to get everyone involved in plays like below, where he dishes out one of the better dimes of the season, the award is a possibility.



Jack currently holds a line of 13.4 PPG, 5.7 APG and 3.1 RPG.  Like the endings of most Warriors victories, Jack just has to close it out.

Follow me @ScottInTheBay

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