Three-time NBA Sixth Man of the Year Lou Williams has revitalized the award and the importance of a solid bench presence.
Multiple players are coming off the bench and making an impact on their team early in the season, including familiar faces like Williams and his teammate Montrezl Harrell and other new faces.
One of those new faces is Charlotte Hornets’ second-year point guard Devonte’ Graham.
Graham was selected in the second round of the 2018 NBA Draft from the University of Kansas.
He played in 46 games last season, averaging 4.7 points per game while trying to adjust to playing in the NBA.
This season, Graham has come off the bench and had a breakout sophomore season for the Hornets.
He has scored at least 23 points in three games and recorded a double-double (14 points and 12 assists) against the Los Angeles Clippers.
He also put up a career-high 35 points in a comeback overtime victory for the Hornets against the Indiana Pacers.
The 35 points was a Hornets franchise record for scoring off the bench.
Graham joins impressive company on the list of players averaging at least six assists and three 3-pointers per game this season which includes Damian Lillard, Kyrie Irving, Luka Doncic, Kyle Lowry, James Harden, Trae Young, Bradley Beal and Graham.
It’s still very early in the season, but Graham could be a potential candidate for Most Improved Player, given the leap he’s made so far from last year.
Graham is the fourth leading scorer on the list of sixth men scoring leaders:
- Derrick Rose, 20.8 PPG
- Lou Williams, 20.3 PPG
- Montrezl Harrell, 19.3 PPG
- Devonte’ Graham, 17.3 PPG
- Eric Paschall, 16.7 PPG
- Goran Dragic, 15.1 PPG
- Jordan Clarkson, 15.0 PPG
- Jabari Parker, 14.7 PPG
- Spencer Dinwiddie, 14.0 PPG
- Serge Ibaka, 13.8 PPG
Graham is also leading in assists on the list of sixth men assist leaders:
- Devonte’ Graham, 6.7 APG
- Derrick Rose, 6.3 APG
- Spencer Dinwiddie, 4.7 APG
- Lou Williams, 4.7 APG
- Goran Dragic, 4.6 APG
- Shabazz Napier, 4.5 APG
- Tyus Jones, 4.5 APG
- Delon Wright, 4.2 APG
- Dennis Schroder, 3.9 APG
- Joe Ingles, 3.6 APG