Bucks Diary

Friday, January 04, 2008

Ranking NBA bench production


How important is bench play? On every NBA team, bench players account for at least 30% of all floor minutes. To give you an example of what a bad bench can do to a team, if the Bucks and Celtics merely swapped benches, the Celtics would project around 54 wins while the Bucks would project around 45. The Celtics currently project around 72 wins and the Bucks project, at best, around 31. It can make that much of a difference.

Below is a ranking of NBA teams benches by Win Contribution calculation. In this case, Win Contribution is a measure of the reserves production against the production you could expect from a bench full of average players playing the same amount of time. (WC = the bench players' cumulative Win Score adjusted for the overall average Win Score production (which is 8.1 WS points per 5 man teams) multiplied by the amount of overall playing time allocated to reserves.)

As you will notice, all but two teams get negative Win Contributions from their bench. That is to be expected. Its very difficult to assemble a group of reserves who are cumulatively above average producers.

Basically then, the bench's Win Contribution indicates how much ground the starting five has to make up for the team to have an above .500 record. Ideally, you want the bench's Win Contribution to be as close to 0.00 as possible. If you are fortunate enought to have a bench that makes a positive Win Contribution, as is the case for the Pistons and Warriors, that indicates a very deep and strong team (the Warriors, in fact, should be much better than their record indicates).

On the other hand, if your bench's Win Contribution is out of whack with your overall record (as it is for the Pacers, Knicks, Bulls, and Supersonics), that indicates poor coaching and/or a weak starting five. You want to maximize the floor time of your most productive players, and those teams do not seem to be doing so.

Of course, the opposite is also true. Its astonishing that the New Orleans Hornets can have such bad bench play and yet still be among the NBA's best teams. That tells you just how good their starting five (especially Paul, West, and Chandler) have played. Ditto for the Washington Bullets. That also tells you how vulnerable both teams are to collapses brought about by injuries to key starters.

NBA Bench Production

1. Golden State Warriors........WS: 9.74..........WC: (+0.544)
2. Detroit Pistons..........WS:8.58.............WC: (+0.172)
3. Indiana Pacers.........WS: 7.96............WC: (-0.053)
4. Los Angeles Lakers........WS: 7.91...........WC: (-0.081)
5. Phoenix Suns........WS: 7.78............WC: (-0.104)
6. Portland Trailblazers........WS: 7.76............WC: (-0.135)
7. Boston Celtics........WS: 7.54............WC: (-0.176)
8. Toronto Raptors..........WS: 7.69............WC: (-0.185)
9. Seattle Supersonics..........WS: 7.51...........WC: (-0.265)
10. Houston Rockets...........WS: 7.32..............WC: (-0.287)
11. San Antonio Spurs...........WS: 7.37..............WC: (-0.316)
12. Dallas Mavericks...........WS: 7.14............WC: (-0.369)
13. New York Knicks...........WS: 7.08.............WC: (-0.403)
14. Chicago Bulls..............WS: 7.05.................WC: (-0.411)
15. Miami Heat.............WS: 6.90.................WC: (-0.420)
16. Denver Nuggets............WS: 6.95..........WC: (-0.436)
17. Utah Jazz...................WS: 6.75..............WC: (-0.464)
18. Memphis Grizzlies..............WS: 6.86............WC: (-0.496)
19. Atlanta Hawks..............WS: 6.30............WC: (-0.583)
20. Orlando Magic...............WS: 5.67...............WC: (-0.704)
21. New Jersey Nets..............WS: 6.10...............WC: (-0.820)
22. Sacramento Kings..............WS: 5.68...............WC: (-0.885)
23. Philadelphia Sixers............WS: 5.45...............WC: (-0.895)
24. Milwaukee Bucks............WS: 5.23.................WC: (-1.004)
25. Minnesota Timberwolves.......WS: 5.73.......WC: (-1.014)
26. Cleveland Cavaliers............WS: 5.10..............WC: (-1.089)
27. Los Angeles Clippers............WS: 5.27.............WC: (-1.189)
28. Washington Bullets..............WS: 4.62................WC: (-1.200)
29. Charlotte Bobcats............WS: 4.70..................WC: (-1.268)
30. New Orleans Hornets..........WS: 4.00..............WC: (-1.414)

2 Comments:

At March 24, 2008 at 7:47 PM, Anonymous Philly Fan said...

It also depends a lot to do with the system and the year. Golden state runs so they need a lot of players. I'd like to see the 76ers since they changed their system to a running system and playing more players since the AS break.

 
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