OKC Thunder: Where Dennis Schroder ranks on pundits 6th man list

OKC Thunder point guard Dennis Schroder is deservedly drawing top marks among NBA analysts for the Sixth Man of the Year award.

The NBA announced last week, awards would not include the games played in Orlando. OKC Thunder players are in the mix for several of these awards. Given this news, National scribes are letting fans know where they would/will vote on their ballots.

To that end, over the last few days articles on these picks have emerged. The main player categories include Rookie of the Year, Most Improved Player, Defensive Player of the Year, Most Valuable Player and Sixth Man of the Year.

All-NBA teams are also selected such and first and second All-Rookie and All-Defense and three teams for All-NBA each of which includes five players.

Billy Donovan will draw interest for Coach of the Year and Chris Paul should get serious consideration for ball All-NBA and All-Defense.

Although Shai Gilgeous-Alexander won’t be a Most Improved candidate he’ll get some shine. The one category and input we’ve seen that is frustrating is Luguentz Dort for All-Rookie. His presence in the starting rotation for the Thunder has made a huge impact and he is more than deserving of making one of those two teams especially considering the rooks this year haven’t exactly made huge impacts on their squads.

Out of all the individual categories the one that an OKC player has the best shot of winning is Dennis Schroder for Sixth Man of the Year.

In terms of the individual awards, most writers provide their top three although some dive a little deeper to five or note honorable mention (someone they considered but who just missed the cut).

With that, we dive into the National writer’s lists with a view to where they rank Dennis Schroder on their Sixth Man Award list.

Where National pundits rank Schroder in Sixth Man race

The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor gave lots of love to the OKC Thunder, albeit primarily as honorable mentions but Dennis Schroder took his top spot for Sixth Man.

Schröder was central to the devastating three-guard lineup that Oklahoma City used to close games and steal wins. He had the best defensive season of his career; for the first time, he looked like the hard-nosed, versatile guard that many scouts expected him to be when he was a draft prospect. 

Related Story: Dennis Schroder is in a dog fight for the Sixth Man award

The ESPN panel of 20 writers voted in favor of Montrezl Harrell with nine of the 20 votes but Schroder came in second with seven votes while Lou Williams got the other four. The seven writers who picked Schroder were: Jerry Bembry, Kirk Goldsberry, Bobby Marks, Omar Raja, Andre’ Snellings, Eric Woodyard, and Royce Young.

Zach Lowe isn’t often on the opposite page but in this case, there is disagreement. He crowns Montrezl Harrell the winner with Schroder in second which simply doesn’t feel right.

Schroder outdid Williams at the perimeter spark plug role, and logged almost 2,000 minutes — more than any serious candidate. He posted (by far) the best shooting season of his career, and was a secondary driver of Oklahoma City’s insane crunch-time success; Schroder hit 24-of-47 in the last five minutes of games when the score was within five points, per NBA.com. He recommitted to defense.

Zach does go on to say Schroder would be a deserving winner but he gave Harrell the nod because he is unique whereas there are two other capable guards on OKC. Sorry, but that’s kind of like saying Kawhi Leonard shouldn’t win MVP if the Clippers win the Finals because there is another top two-way talent on the team.

Both Sam Amick and John Hollinger of the paid-for subscription The Athletic submitted awards articles and while only one of them gave Billy Donovan some love they both selected Dennis Schroder as Sixth Man of the Year.

Writer Steven Loung of Sportsnet crowns Dennis Schroder as the winner.

Leading scorer, and Hamilton, Ont., native, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has been the player most credited for leading this quick Thunder turnaround, but Schröder’s contributions shouldn’t be overlooked. He should win the award for the top reserve both on the strength of his merit for it, and as an acknowledgement for what has been a great Thunder season.

Want a sign of Canadian content? Loung citing Shai as the player credited for turning around the OKC Thunder isn’t because us Canuck’s don’t recognize Chris Paul — we just tend to be aware of our young talent in the NBA.

Everyone North of the Border who loves ball knows all about the two Canadian’s on the Thunder. Then again Shai lit up the Raptors on his hometown court so that plays a factor too.

Ultimately, Schroder will be in the mix, but it’s going to be a dog fight and hopefully, he comes out on top. He’s done the work to deserve it and may never get a better shot at the hardware.

Next: 10 things we learned about Thunder during the scrimmages
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