View Full Version : Which NBA benches are carrying the most of their team's scoring load?

04-13-2009, 01:00 AM
Start5 = ppg from the team's starting five
Bench = ppg from the bench
Bench % = the percentage of the team's ppg scored by the bench

TEAM Start5 Bench Bench %
1 DAL 63.9 38.1 .374
2 POR 64.7 34.5 .348
3 MIN 65.6 32.3 .330
4 MIL 66.9 32.3 .326
5 DEN 70.9 33.6 .322
6 WAS 65.2 30.7 .320
7 PHI 66.3 30.9 .318
8 NYK 72.1 33.2 .315
9 SAS 66.6 30.4 .313
10 GSW 75.6 33.4 .306
11 CHI 71.0 31.3 .306
12 MIA 68.2 30.0 .305
13 SAC 70.3 30.5 .303
14 UTH 72.5 31.0 .300
15 MEM 66.2 27.7 .295
16 HOU 70.5 28.3 .286
17 DET 67.3 27.0 .286
18 NJN 70.5 27.9 .284
19 OKC 69.6 27.2 .281
20 PHX 78.8 30.4 .278
21 LAL 77.7 29.2 .273
22 IND 76.5 28.4 .271
23 BOS 73.9 27.1 .268
24 CHA 68.9 25.0 .266
25 TOR 73.4 25.4 .257
26 ATL 73.6 24.9 .253
27 LAC 71.5 23.9 .251
28 CLE 75.0 24.9 .249
29 NOH 73.1 23.0 .239
30 ORL 78.2 23.2 .229

Only 4 of the top 10 are in the playoffs.

And the 4 elite teams are all in the bottom 10 (including 2 in the bottom 3).

I'm not sure what, if anything, this means, but I just think it's kind of interesting, and makes me wonder: Is it better to be more or less reliant on your team's bench for its scoring?

Also, does the presence of a truly dominant player lead to a less productive bench? Seeing the Magic and Cavs at the bottom of this list made me want to jump to that conclusion, but then, the Heat are at #12.

I guess different teams are constructed in different ways, and that will always prevent there from being a clear, general answer to the question of what the ideal starting 5/bench scoring distribution should be. But I still think it's kind of wild how all over the map these results are.

(I compiled this from stats found at hoopsstats.com)

04-13-2009, 01:22 AM
I don't really think that it means much. It doesn't look like there's any real distinction between good teams and bad teams on the list. It's really spread out.

04-13-2009, 01:29 AM
Interesting. Not sure how telling of anything it is though, especially when you rank it by %. Like for some teams, they're not asking their bench to be huge scorers, but to just play the team game. Like cleveland for instance, they don't have a huge scorer off their bench. But they have good role players that do other things off their bench.

Some teams like Dallas have Jason Terry come off the bench, and I believe he's their second leading scorer. Some teams just have a different approach to what they expect from the bench, and others just aren't as deep.

Interesting, but I'm not sure it's telling of anything.

04-13-2009, 02:01 AM
Nice. I think its telling whether your team can stay in it while its resting your starters. If your team has a high percentage, then you have more options than your average "role players".

04-13-2009, 04:05 PM
Bad teams = bad starters = closer gap skill wise between starter and bench players?

04-14-2009, 01:51 AM
Ive always held a firm belief in the subtle difference a bench makes for most contending teams. The only teams that need depth (Bench Wise) were the ones that lacked the star caliber players (due to injury or lack of talent), or a team so evenly talented that you knew they needed the entire sum of its parts to win it all, like how Detroit was once they lost Mehmet, Corliss and James, even though Corliss sucked and Mike James went on to become the most popular scrub of all time, they played their roles to a tee. Even though they added McDyess and Carlos Arroyo fresh off his international breakout I believe, I really thought he would make up for the loss, but the teams bench clearly wasnt the same.

As for the numbers themselves, well the reason they dont seem to correlate with anything IMO is because of the general definition of a bench. A bench is group of players outside the starting 5, but some bench players are clearly better than a few members in the starting 5, depending on your teams philosophy the overall composition of the players determines the best way to maximize the overall impact your team can have within the flow of the game (You wouldnt pair 2 ball dominant players in the same backcourt or an offensive chucker in a unit that has equally efficient parts) . But its the teams with more of the best players or more specifically STARTING CALIBER players that win games. Its great to have a guy in the 6th man role who can spare your starters in stretches, its just not more important than having a group 6 similarly talented players who one of which you have to bench not because you have to adjust for his presence and effectiveness around your teams foundation, but because the other guy is just as good. This doesnt hold true every where, Chicago's starting 5 has been routinely outplayed this season but its bench is top 3 in overall +/- differential so it makes up for most of the loss. Funny thing is theyve been dealing with injuries for most of the season so you could argue they would be a much better team with its full assortment of starting caliber players.

The Spurs, Nuggets, Mavs have always had that 6th man scorer be it Stack, Terry, Manu, or Smith (The worst ever on a championship team Antoine Walker). It provides more balance I just think that teams that can still dominate you most with their starting unit provides them with them with a better chance to close out games. If your 6thman can play with your best players then so much the better, a guy like Manu was equally adept at both, a guy like Stackhouse or Antoine werent as great, luckily both their teams met up in the Finals and someone had to win.

Ill comment more when I dissect the #'s but thats my guess