The Spurs' depth is often cited as one of their biggest strengths.They employ at least 13 rotation caliber players and have a coach that knows how to use them. PATFO has also done a good job of finding players that can simply be sent in at any moment and fit within the team's style. There are no mismatched pieces, there's no one on the roster that can't contribute something tangible. But while the bench as a whole is definitely a strength, the Spurs have not gotten consistent individual production from anyone this season.
Good bench, mediocre bench players
I'll leave Manu out of this analysis for now because he is a bench player in name only. That said, leading all reserves in minutes are Boris Diaw, Gary Neal and Stephen Jackson. All spent some time in the starting lineup because of injuries. The leading scorer is Neal with 10.1 points per game; then you have Stephen Jackson and Boris Diaw with 6.9 and 5.9 points per game, respectively. Neal barely exceed 50% in true shooting percentage and Jackson is well below it. Diaw has great shooting numbers but takes the fewest amount of shots per 36 minutes on the team. Neal is shooting below 40% from 3 and Jackson is shooting a paltry 28.6%
When it comes to rebounding, the only bench bug that does it at a high rate is Blair; Diaw and Bonner board like small forwards. Speaking of small forwards, Stephen Jackson is slightly below average in both defensive rebound percentage and total rebound percentage, according to Hoopdata.
Looks like the Spurs are getting neither efficient scoring nor proficient rebounding form the bench. How about playmaking?
Only Boris Diaw has a good assists to turnover ratio. The rest of the bench ranks from below average to atrocious. Per 36 minutes, Neal, Jackson, Blair and Bonner combine for 9.1 assists and 7.1 assists for an assist to turnover ratio of 1.36, which, in case you are not familiar with the stat, is bad. And that's including Bonner's stellar turnover numbers. Without him, the ratio would be an atrocious 1.13.
The Spurs bench is struggling. Could that be a good thing?
Pounding The Rock | Jan 28