FanPost

Spurs Bench Blitzing Opponents

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

To check again on the GSW bench since the Harrison Barnes injury, I ran the numbers for the league‘s benches over their last 11 games – the last eleven before Christmas. While the GSW bench efficiency remained negative, the astonishing thing on the report was the efficiency of the San Antonio Spurs bench over their last 11 games. On NBA.com, the bench’s NetRtg was +25.8 per 100 possessions. The second and third best benches were Nuggets with +7.9 and the Cavaliers with +5.2. The Oklahoma City bench was ninth (+2.9) and the Warriors bench fourteenth (-1.0) over the eleven games.

The Spurs bench also had a higher offensive rating (118.7) than not just the Spurs starters (107.4) but also the Warriors starters (117.8) and OKC starters (116.0) over the last 11 games. Of course, starters and benches do not play against the same quality of opponent players, but still this further impressed me. Several times, Popovich has quickly replaced his starters en masse with bench players when the starters have started slowly as they recently did for the second half against the Timberwolves. Not to mention, the Spurs bench’s defensive rating (92.9) was better than the Spurs starters (94.7) who start for the team with the best DefRtg in the league as well as the Golden State starters (95.2).

Over the last eleven games, this performance by the Spurs bench can also be seen in its plus-minus per game, +10.6, with Nuggets second at 2.7 and in its plus-minus per the NBA Tracking System’s unit of a play, 22.9, to second place Nuggets at 5.9. On a per 36 minutes basis, the Spurs bench would score 79.1 points with a plus-minus of +17.7 and on a 48 minutes basis 105.4 with a plus-minus of +23.6. For the season, the Spurs bench has a league leading NetRtg of 15.1 (OffRtg 106.8 and DefRtg 91.7)

The last eleven Spurs opponents – MIN, IND, LAC, WAS, ATL, LAL, TOR, PHI, BOS, MEM, and MIL – included seven playoff teams from last year and six teams over .500 on Christmas morning. Thus, while this did not include the most elite teams it was a reasonable mix – although San Antonio did blow out Philadelphia by fifty points.

Unsurprisingly, the Spurs bench played the most minutes of any top rated bench. Evidently, Pop knows when he has a good thing going.

ANNEX

NBA.com Advanced Stats (Top ranked plus OKC and GSW benches)

Top Benches over Last 11 Games

W

L

MIN

OffRtg

DefRtg

NetRtg

Top Starters over last 11 Games

W

L

MIN

OffRtg

DefRtg

NetRtg

Spurs

10

1

238

118.7

92.9

25.8

Thunder

9

2

322

116.0

92.9

23.1

Nuggets

6

5

227

109.0

101.1

7.9

Golden State

10

1

317

117.8

95.2

22.6

Cavaliers

8

3

220

98.9

93.7

5.2

San Antonio

10

1

290

113.6

94.7

18.9

Hornets

5

6

224

103.5

98.6

4.9

Magic

7

4

308

107.4

101.1

6.3

Hawks

7

4

189

104.3

99.8

4.5

Celtics

6

5

336

104.9

98.9

6.0

Rockets

7

4

199

105.1

101.6

3.5

Clippers

6

5

323

108.0

102.1

6.0

9th Thunder

9

2

211

102.5

99.6

2.9

14th Warriors

10

1

221

106.2

107.2

-1.0

This FanPost is a submission from a member of the mighty Golden State of Mind community. While we're all here to throw up that W, these words do not necessarily reflect the views of the GSoM Crew. Still, chances are the preceding post is Unstoppable Baby!