Sixth Man Rankings: Ginobili Keeps Climbing

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manu ginobiliIt’s time for people to start taking notice of the rejuvenated Manu Ginobili and his impressive start to the season.

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich had good reason to rest Ginobili on Thursday night in Golden State. After all, through eight December games, Ginobili has averaged 14 points, 5.4 assists and 4.0 rebounds.

Those numbers are impressive for any bench player. When you consider that Ginobili has put them up in just 22.6 minutes per game, it ranks him among the best in the league in impact on the game per minute played. 

Ginobili has always been a good distributor. This season, however, he has been distributing at elite levels for shooting guards. Per 40 minutes, he is averaging 8.1 assists and is assisting on 28.6 percent of plays revolved around him.

To put those numbers in perspective, point guards Kyrie Irving and Damian Lillard are averaging a full assist less per 40 minutes. Meanwhile, Ginobili is also distributing more efficiently than John Wall — the second leading assist man in the entire NBA.

With his reckless drives to the basket and daring passes, Ginobili has always been a unique player. He won the Sixth Man award in 2007-2008 because of his dynamic playing style. This season, the Eastern Conference cannot even find a viable Sixth Man candidate — let alone another Ginobili.

Reigning winner J.R. Smith of the New York Knicks cannot get untracked. On Wednesday, Smith attempted a franchise-record 17 3-pointers and only recorded 19 points to show for it. I suspect it is going to take much of the season for him to recover from last summer’s knee surgery.

Still, he doesn’t seem too concerned with his slow start:

Now, on to the rankings.

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  1. you still haven’t added Alec Burks
    month of December
    MIN FG% 3P% FT% REB AST BLK STL PTS
    34 .50 .478 .795 3.5 2.8 0.3 0.6 16.4

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