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Hassan Whiteside can't be Sixth Man of the Year, but....

Hassan Whiteside had a response ready Friday when told that his numbers are Sixth Man of the Year quality, in the 23 games that he's come off the bench.

"I'm more like the eighth man," the center said.

Well, he was against the Magic, but only because Josh Richardson and Justise Winslow entered the game just before he did.

But that's not the reason he won't be Sixth Man of the Year. 

Whiteside has already started 40 games and missed nine, so the most games he can play as a reserve this season is 33.

The NBA mandates that all candidates play in more games as a reserve than as a starter.

But what would have happened if Whiteside had been eligible?

Well, it probably wouldn't have been a close vote.

Consider that, of NBA players who have played at least 20 games as a reserve (and accounting only for players' stats in those games), Whiteside...

-- ranks 3rd in scoring (16.4) behind two Pelicans (Jrue Holiday at 17.0 and Ryan Andersen at 16.5)

-- ranks 2nd in minutes (28.9) behind Anderson (29.3).

-- ranks 1st in rebounding (12.7) with the Lakers' Julius Randle (9.6) and the Cavaliers' Tristan Thompson (8.6) next. 

-- ranks 1st in blocks (3.5) with the Bucks' John Henson (2.0) and the Raptors' Bismack Biyombo (1.6) next.

-- ranks 3rd in field goal percentage (61.2 percent) behind the Rockets' Clint Capela (62.4) and the Blazers' Ed Davis (61.3), among players averaging at least 10 minutes. 

So who will be Sixth Man of the Year?

Whiteside predicted the Clippers' Jamal Crawford, who has already won it twice, and is averaging 13.1 points while shooting just 39.2 percent.

This wouldn't be a contest, if Whiteside was eligible for the contest. 

Also, for context:

The aforementioned Thompson is averaging 7.4 points, 8.6 rebounds and 0.6 blocks, while shooting 57 percent from the field and 63 percent from the line, in the 42 games he's come off the bench. Whiteside trumps him, significantly, in the first three categories, and edges him in the final two as well.

And we all know how much Thompson is getting paid. 

 

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