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Clippers' Powell baffled by 6MOY snub: 'I think it's B.S.'

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Norman Powell wants some clarity on the Sixth Man of the Year criteria.

The Los Angeles Clippers guard issued a scathing critique of the award after he wasn't included among the three finalists unveiled Sunday despite an impressive individual season coming off the bench for the 51-win Clippers.

"I think it's B.S., to be honest, two years in a row," he told ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk. I mean, I don't know what else you got to do to be a sixth man. Last year, you're leading the league in bench points (and) don't get nominated. This year, the most efficient off the bench, given the fact that I'm playing with four Hall of Famers, limited touches, role decreases, and I'm still able to put out the same amount of production as the three finalists that was (picked)."

Powell continued: "I think it sucks. I think it's politics, publicity, and people aren't actually looking at the details of the game. Guys get a few highlight dunks and get posted on social media, and that's what it is. Nobody's posting my threes like that. So, I mean, it's just tough."

This year's award will go to either Minnesota Timberwolves big man Naz Reid, Milwaukee Bucks forward Bobby Portis, or Sacramento Kings guard Malik Monk, all of whom had notable seasons off the bench for their respective teams. Powell, however, arguably has a solid claim of his own.

During the regular season, the Clippers guard finished as one of only 21 qualified players with minimum shooting splits of 45/40/80 while scoring at least 10 points per game, courtesy of Stathead. However, Powell was one of just two players - the other being Chicago Bulls guard Ayo Dosunmu - to do it predominantly as a reserve, starting in only three of his 76 appearances this season (Dosunmu had a near-equal split while starting in 37 of 76 games).

In a direct comparison to Monk, Reid, and Portis, though, Powell's case is potentially harder to sell. His only statistical advantages over the three finalists are his 43.5% mark from deep and his 83.1% rate at the free-throw line. Monk provided the most scoring (15.4 points per game); Reid, whose Timberwolves finished a game off the Western Conference's peak, was a key factor in Minnesota's top-ranked stingy defense, recording a top-three individual defensive rating (104.4) across the league (minimum 41 games played and at least 15 minutes per game).

Portis, meanwhile, played in all 82 games and was the best rebounder (7.4 per game) and the best shooter overall with a 50.8 field-goal percentage.

Despite having grievances about how the voting broke down, Powell said his priority is to win another piece of hardware with the Clippers in June.

"At the end of the day, the main focus is to win a championship," he told Youngmisuk. "It would be nice to be recognized for the work and everything that I've done to help this team contribute to winning and being a 50-win team. ... But I have a lot more to say if we win the championship at the end of the year."

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