Jordan Clarkson of the Utah Jazz received the Sixth Man of the Year award, which was announced live on television during the playoffs. The voting results were subsequently revealed, revealing that Portland Trail Blazers player Carmelo Anthony came in sixth place while big man Enes Kanter came in tenth place.
Joe Ingles, a teammate and fellow sixth man of the year nominee, surprised Clarkson with the trophy live on TNT, which was a nice touch for the Jazz and eventual winner.
This was Melo’s first season coming off the bench, but he had some success as a backup stretch four for a Blazers team that finished as the Western Conference’s sixth seed.
Melo had a career-high 40.9 percent three-point shooting percentage this season, as well as an 89.0 percent free-throw shooting percentage. Melo took this bench role later in his career and has not only provided excellent scoring for the bench, but he has also been a significant locker-room influence on the team’s younger players.
Kanter also finished in the top 10 in the final poll, according to Dallas Mavericks beat writer Tim MacMahon’s tweet. In what was perhaps his best season in the NBA, Kanter received the tenth most votes. With Jusuf Nurkic out for over two months due to injury, Kanter stepped up and helped the Blazers win many games with his excellent paint scoring.
He averaged 11.0 rebounds per game and shot 60.4 percent from the floor, both career highs.
Both players contributed to the Blazers’ improved bench performance in 2021.