Nuggets coach George Karl doesn't claim to have compared this season's bench statistics to those from last season, but he knows this: Now that Wilson Chandler has recovered from a hip injury and returned to action, the veteran shooting guard will help the reserve unit.
The bench players have been good, but Karl wants better production.
This year's bench per-game averages are 38.4 points, 15.5 rebounds, 8.0 assists, 2.8 steals and 3.1 blocked shots.
Last season those numbers were 41.5 points, 18.9 rebounds, 10.0 assists, 3.7 steals and 2.5 blocked shots.
So the numbers are down, nearly across the board.
"I wouldn't have an idea what the numbers are," Karl said.
Perhaps this is the number that explains it all — 13.2. That's how many fewer minutes per game bench players are playing this season.
It's a severe drop for a reserve unit that was arguably the best in the NBA last season.
This season, veteran point guard Andre Miller still leads bench players in playing time, but his minutes are down to 25.5 per game from 27.5 a season ago. Corey Brewer is the only other Nugget reserve over 20 minutes per game, at 23.5, while a season ago Al Harrington was logging 27.1 minutes and JaVale McGee was just over 20 minutes, along with Brewer.
"I think we've pretty much continued what we did from last year," Miller said. "Coming in, providing energy, getting us back in games. Just, for the most part, being concrete for this organization."
Read more: Denver Nuggets coach George Karl using bench players less this season - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/nuggets/ci_22374403/denver-nuggets-coach-george-karl-using-bench-players#ixzz2I4JhiV1s
Denver Nuggets coach George Karl using bench players less this season
Denver Post | Jan 15