Cover Photo: Bob Levey/Getty Images
You can't start an NBA season without talking about the end of it, and the season-long awards that are given out after the grueling 82-game docket.
One that seems to be constantly overlooked is the Sixth Man of the Year Award. It normally doesn't include the big names that we've come to know, but this year is completely different as some of the biggest stars are up for the award.
Here are five dark horses for Sixth Man of the Year.
4. Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks
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Dirk Nowitzki is coming off the bench for the first time in his career, which means he finally has a chance to win the one award that has eluded him during his illustrious career. The Mavericks would have to have a hell of a surprise season for him to win, but what a storybook ending it would be for Nowitzki.
3. Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat
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We know this is the final season for Dwyane Wade and just like Dirk, it would be a hell of a send off. He's another guy who isn't accustomed to coming off the bench, but he's averaging 13 points and seven rebounds per contest so far this season. We all know he can fill it up if he has the chance, and scoring is the name of the game. If he can bump those numbers up and push the Miami Heat up the standings, the trophy could be his.
2. Jabari Parker, Chicago Bulls
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We've seen Jabari Parker light it up when he gets the chance and he should have that while leading the Bulls' second unit. He wasn't expected to be the team's sixth man, but it looks like that will be his role moving forward. If Parker has the green light and can just focus on scoring, there's a good chance he leaves with the trophy.
1. Carmelo Anthony, Houston Rockets
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It's been a long time since Carmelo Anthony laughed and said, "Yo P, they said I have to come off the bench." But here we are, with Melo on a different team, coming off the bench -- and he hasn't laughed once. As there are still buckets to be had, Carmelo simply needs to average 15-plus and he'll be considered for the award he inadvertently laughed about just one season ago.
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