In the NBA, star players are (typically) crucial to a team's success. When a team has players such as Giannis Antetokounmpo, or duos such as LeBron James and Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook and James Harden, and the duo of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, teams succeed. But with every star player or duo, there should be a strong bench backing them up.
Some teams have a deep bench that allows them to play multiple bench players that can contribute in some fashion. Or, it may even be a single player (who is typically the sixth man of a team). If a player is a lethal shooter, he can come into the game and knock down shots, and in turn, give his team a spark off the bench. Players can also be rim protectors or defenders and take the load off starters by guarding some of the other team's best players. Regardless of their skill, a player can come off the bench and succeed in that role.
While coming off the bench, some players manage to build an impressive plus-minus total, which means that when that player is on the court, they are valuable to their respective team. Plus-minus more or less measures how valuable that player is to their team.
Here are the five bench players with the highest plus-minus totals of the season.
Note: All stats are accurate as of 27 February 2020
#5 Montrezl Harrell, Plus-Minus Total: +222
The Clippers are looking to be one of the top teams of the West, as they are third in the conference with a record of 39-19. The play of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George may play a big part in their success, but one of the Clippers' biggest strengths is their bench. When their bench plays well, the Clippers are even more dangerous. And it all starts with two players.
The Clippers have players such as Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell coming off their bench; the Clippers have weapons that can put up big numbers. Williams averages 19.1 points this season and Harrell isn't too far behind with 18.6 points. Harrell also averages 7.0 rebounds per game, as well as 1.1 blocks per game. Both players were Sixth Man of the Year candidates last season, and while Williams won the award, Harrell showed that he can be a valuable asset off the bench.
This season, Harrell has a plus-minus total of +222. He has a better plus-minus than his partner in Williams (who happens to be sixth in plus-minus total with 200) and has fought his way into the top five, which includes a few other crucial bench players around the league.
Harrell's play makes the Clippers even better, and as a team fighting to reach elite (in other words championship) status, the Clippers will need all they can get from Harrell.