In what may be his final year of eligibility now that he has earned the starting role with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Tristan Thompson came up well short in the voting for Sixth Man of the Year.
Jamal Crawford received the award for the third time of his career. Thompson trailed Andre Igoudala, Enes Kanter, Will Barton, Evan Turner, Ryan Anderson, Jeremy Lin, Ed Davis and Dennis Schroeder, receiving just two first place votes.
There were a few factors working against Thompson, as this is an award that is traditionally given to a top bench scorer with little regard for actual impact on the game. As evidenced by Crawford receiving the award despite shooting 40.4 percent from the floor and the Clippers offense and defense being better this season with him on the bench (negative 6.2 net rating). Thompson starting 34 games also likely factored into people overlooking him for the award.
But Thompson has never been one to need accolades in order to go out and produce, though he does get to enjoy healthy financial compensation for his work. He's a low maintenance, consistent and durable player for the Cavs and his game one performance was just another example of that. Despite only taking, and making, one shot for the game, he played consistent defense and pulled in four offensive rebounds against one of the league's best rebounding teams.
While the recognition would have been nice, and a sign that voters are moving on from just points per game off of the bench, it doesn't change the ultimate result.