Apr 20, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks shooting guard J.R. Smith (8) drives to the net as Boston Celtics small forward Paul Pierce (34) defends during game one of the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

2013 NBA Awards: Knicks J.R. Smith to be named Sixth Man of the Year


Sometimes it’s not how you start but how you finish.

That was the case for New York Knicks’ sixth man J.R. Smith as he closed the 2012-13 season with an exclamation point while making his case for the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year.

It worked.

The NBA will make an announcement at 2:30 p.m. today from the Madison Square Garden training center, according to the Knicks. Howard Beck of the New York Times reports that the press conference will be for this year’s first award winner, as Smith will be named Sixth Man of the Year.

Apr 20, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks shooting guard J.R. Smith (8) dribbles the ball as Boston Celtics point guard Avery Bradley (0) defends during the fourth quarter of game one of the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Knicks won 85-78. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Smith, 27, came off the bench for the Knicks in each of his 80 games this season, averaging a career-high 18.1 PPG and recording a 17.6 PER. It was the best season of Smith’s nine-year NBA career, as he emerged as the Knicks’ second scoring option behind Carmelo Anthony.

His 18.1 points per game average came on 42.2 percent shooting from the field this season. His previous career high in points came in 2009-10 when he averaged 15.4. In addition, Smith’s  PER of 17.6, up from 15.2 last season.

At the moment we don’t know exactly how the voting broke down, but the Los Angeles Clippers’ Jamal Crawford and Golden State Warriors’ Jarrett Jack were expected to also be in the running for the award while the New Orleans Hornets’ Ryan Anderson and the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin martin were also expected to receive consideration.

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