NBA Playoff Race: Benches


Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The season is set to wind down in the coming weeks with the Dallas Mavericks (47-31), Memphis Grizzlies (45-32), and Phoenix Suns (46-31) still battling it out for final two spots in the West.

Starting backcourt | Front court | Bench

All three of these team’s benches are tied for second in the NBA with a +1.8 plus/minus, only behind the San Antonio Spurs (+4.1). These benches are asked to do a lot and for the most part, have contributed when needed.

Dallas Mavericks

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  • Vince Carter: 12.1 points, 39.5% 3-pt, 2.7 assists, 24.4 minutes
  • Brandan Wright: 9.2 points, 68% fg, 4.1 rebounds, .96 blocks, 18.4 minutes
  • Devin Harris: 7.9 points, 38% fg, 4.2 assists, 19.9 minutes 
  • Jae Crowder: 4.8 points, 33.6% 3-pt, .77 steals, 16.5 minutes

The Mavericks bench is much like their starter counterparts. They look to push the pace and put point up on the board. With a healthy trio of Harris, Carter, and Wright, the Mavericks bench is ranked number five in scoring (40 ppg). This trio also has been used plenty to close games, giving the Mavericks plenty of option and versatility to close out games. Throw in Crowder, who does the dirty work, the undersized but bruising DeJuan Blair, and currently out of the rotation shooter Wayne Ellington, the Mavs’ bench is talented.

Memphis Grizzlies

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The Grizzlies bench will look to muck up the game. Allen and Johnson give the Grizzlies plenty of energy and defense on the wings. Miller has been healthy for the most part and has done a great job shooting the ball. Koufos has filled in adequately in a reserve role, given the team size off the bench. Rookie Nick Calathes has done a nice job as the backup point guard. Ed Davis, John Leuer, and Beno Udrih can also be asked to contribute.

Phoenix Suns

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  • Gerald Green: 15.8 points, 44.5% fg, 39.8% 3-pt, 28.7 minutes
  • Markieff Morris: 13.7 points, 48.5% fg, 6 rebounds, 26.4 minutes
  • Marcus Morris: 9.8 points, 44.7% fg, 3.9 rebounds, 22 minutes
  • Ish Smith: 3.8 pionts, 41.8% fg, 2.6 assists, 14.6 minutes

Green and Markieff Morris are an explosive tandem. Green, when hot, can score from anyone on the court and he’s seem more hot than cold lately.  Markieff Morris when put at the center spot is a tough matchup. He can score from inside and out, whether he’s creating for himself or spotting up. The closing lineup of Goran DragicEric Bledsoe-Green-P.J. Tucker-Marieff Morris is one of the more dynamic in the league. Marcus Morris plays similarly to his twin brother. He isn’t as big and talent but can still be a factor. Smith is a spark plug of the bench. He comes in, looks to push the ball, and be a pest on defense. If the bench gets hot, this is a tough team to beat.