Western Conference Bench Squads
This is how I'd rate them...
1.) Nuggets: Andre Miller has been one of the best Pg's in the NBA for over a decade. He is a consistent iron man that always plays even when injured. Chandler could start for a lot of teams at the 3. Corey Brewer is a great energy player and champion who brings great enthusiasm to his team. Al Harrington can spread the floor and is very capable of putting up 20 on any given night. Add in 2 7 ft respectable backup centers, Anthony Randolph and a first round Fournier who is a little bit unknown but adds to the potential that this bench unit could be even better by years end.
PG: Andre Miller
SG: Corey Brewer/Fournier
PF: Al Harrington/Randolph
2.) Thunder: Best bench player in the league, 6th man of the year, olympian James Harden. Nick Collison is a great hustle player and rebounder who got more minutes than Serge Ibaka in some games because he is so effective on the floor. Eric Maynor has some good potential at the PG position along with their last years first round pick Reggie Jackson. Perry Jones III has lottery talent and they scooped him up at a value at the 27th pick. Aldrich and Thabeet provide some solid big bodies to rebound and foul when Perk is out of the game.
SF: Jones III
3.) Spurs: Wow if they didn't run out of steam last year they were on pace to break records before they were stopped by OKC. Obviously Ginobili is still a favorite in the who is the best bench player in the NBA converstaion. He is the main reason I have the Spurs so high. Jackson when motivated is a good player and brings toughness to his team. Gary Neal is a very capable scorer who isn't afraid to take a big shot. Splitter improved by leaps and bounds last year, and is a big body who plays solid D and has good footwork. I think some other teams after this may have a more balanced bench, but OKC and San Antonio have the two best bench players in the conference and thats why they took the 2/3 in my vote.
4.) TWolves: I bet I will get plenty of disagreement with this pick but I am convinced this will be one of the better benches in the West. Ridnour is as solid and reliable of a back-up PG the Western Conference has. Shved is looking really good in the Olympics, and has AK47 to help ease his transition to the US. Budinger is a good hustle player who will help spread the floor, and will play better with Adelman as his coach again. Derrick Williams is going into his second year and has alot to prove. Stiemsma showed his a very capable big body with good defense and rebounding to help anchor the second unit. Oh ya Only a year and a couple months ago JJ Barea was making a huge contribution to winning a championship with the Mavericks.
5.) Clippers: Bledsoe looks poised to have a huge breakout season, and has a certain athleticism that few others in the NBA have. I don't like his game at all, but Jamal Crawford has shown by being nominated as the NBA sixth man of the year a couple seasons ago that he is capable of getting the job done. Lamar Odom is a real wild card, because if he returns to playing the way he did a couple seasons ago I would rate this team higher but he is still an unknown. Grant Hill is as solid as they come, and will definitely be a stabilizing force on their bench, lets see how those knees hold up away from those Phoenix trainers.
SF: Grant Hill
6.) Warriors: Jarrett Jack is a soild backup PG who has starting experience, toughness, and had a PER of 18 last year. Brandon Rush was one of the most efficient players in the NBA in his limited playing time. 45% 3 point shooter good for 6th in the NBA, and also a good defender/rebounder/shot blocker. Richard Jefferson is a solid veteran presence, but has trouble creating his own shot these days, and is mostly a spot up shooter at this point in his career. Carl Landry lead the league in PPG per 36 of any back-up in the NBA. He brings toughness, scoring, and the ability to draw fouls and get to the line. Beidrins and Ezeli are complete wild cards, who knows what kind of production GS will get from them.
WARRIORS:7.) Jazz: Nice Luxury to have your back up 4/5 be 2 of the last 3 years no.3 picks in the draft. Favors looks like a nice candidate to make that 3rd year leap, and certainly has the body and size to do so. Kanter is still raw but should continue to improve in his second year in the league. Last years No.12 pick Alec Burks looks ready to contribute more off the bench this year and appears to have the skills to create his own offense off the bench. Tinsley and Watson are just tough nosed back up PGs who will give you consistent backup minutes. Make no mistake though the Jazz make it this high on the list becuase of Favors, he has the chance to be NBA's most improved player next year IMO.
8.) Mavericks: Love the potential of the backcourt. Roddy B/Cunningham/Dojo are 3 very intriguing prospects with lots of athleticism and very high ceilings. Delonte West as silly as he is, has a good Bball IQ, good at running PnR's, has a solid shot, and plays good D. VC is old, but is becoming a better spot up shooter. Jae Crowder looked pretty good in summer league. BWright had a mini breakout last year and was and could still be very serviceable for Dallas next year. Brand is a solid Center off the bench as well, who is a former all-star and will help bring veteran leadership to this team. They could have gone high as 4 on my list but decided this is the best slot for them.
PG: Roddy B/ De West
PF: Brandan Wright
C: Elton Brand
9.) Rockets: Super interesting bench with a potential to be a top 5, and also be right about here. Loved all of their rookies/sophomores in Summer League. Lamb, White, and Jones all performed well and showed glimmers of their potential, while Donatas Montiejunas really looked legit. Their backup PG situation looks pretty bad with Boykins and Toney D backing up Lin. Marcus Morris still has alot to prove as well.
PG: Boykins/Toney D
SF: White/Marc. Morris
10.) Suns: Really like Markieff Morris he looks ready to make a good impact off the bench for his team. Kandall Marshall should be a solid backup to Dragic, who plays the more traditional point guard role. Channing Frye is good to spread the floor and presents matchup problems for opponents. Wes Johnson still has potential, but needs to start showing some this year in a different city. Dudley is a solid team guy. Redd may be serviceable, or injured all year....who knows??
SF: Wes Johnson
11.) Grizzlies: Similar to Dallas, I really like their potential in the backcourt. Jerryd Bayless still hasn't reached his ceiling and could be posied for a breakout year in a new system. Tony Wroten has an extremely high ceiling, but probably wont sniff that this coming year, but may become a more impact player at the end of the season when people start wearing down. Josh Selby torched the summer league. Arthur and Speights are solid contributors at the 4, and reliable vets. Haddadi sucks, he's just a big body, and Pondexter seems to be a pretty average back up 3.
12.) Kings: It gets ugly starting here.... Obviously I like T.Rob and his potential, Hayes is a tough guy who can be serviceable, and Brooks was a solid PG just a year ago. Salmons and Garcia suck and are 2 of the worst contracts in the NBA right now. I'd say they are both top 30 worst contacts for their production. Jimmer sucks too, it seems the NBA game is a little too fast for him. It may be early to judge him, but I don't think he's ever going to be much more than just an alright backup in his career.
13.) Lakers: Jordan Hill was a decent backup last year, but who knows?? Was he playing for a contract and that's as good as it gets or will he continue to improve? Jamison is still a capable scorer and a solid vet with plenty of NBA experience as well as career earnings. Not impressed with anything else here. Blake sucks, Barnes is a thug with a diminishing game, and Troy Murph hasn't been effective for years. Goudelock/Darrius Morris/DJO just don't seem to me to have much a future in the NBA.
14.) Hornets: uhhhh... Don't really like much of anything here. I think Lopez will be a solid backup C, and Warrick should be just OK. Rivers just isn't that good and is not ready to make a major contribution next year. Henry Miller Thomas and Smith.... ehhhhh not impressed at all.
15.) Blazers: Hmmmm... Smith/Barton/Babbit/Hickson/Pryzbilla??? That just sucks!!! They better hope that Freeland and Claver produce for them, because this bench is really bad.
My conclusion is we are pretty much middle of the pack when it comes to the bench units. If we had some stability at the Center position I would have rated us higher, but because of the uncertainty I think we are pretty average. What do you guys think??