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5 Best benches in NBA history

Jason Mills
Top 5 / Top 10
09 Nov 2019, 17:00 IST

#4 2005-06 Miami Heat: Alonzo Mourning, Gary Payton, Shandon Anderson, Jason Kapono, Derek Anderson, Antoine Walker

Alonzo Mourning
Alonzo Mourning

The 2005/06 season was the first of 5 NBA Finals appearances for the Miami Heat since 2000 and the first of three titles they have won. This edition of the Heat’s roster stacked their bench with former stars who were aging and relied heavily on the exploits of Dwyane Wade, their 2003 draft pick, and to a lesser extent Shaquille O’Neal. Wade was averaging 27.2 ppg and Shaq was averaging 20 ppg. 

When you add up the production of the bench offensively, the subs added over 40 points a game to the tally of the starters. Antoine Walker, the former Boston Celtics star, led this Miami bench with 12.2 ppg while 3-point specialist Jason Kapono was deadly accurate from long range at 39.6%. 

Alonzo Mourning averaged 7.8 ppg but was blocking 2.7 shots and along with Antoine Walker combined for over 10 rebounds per game. The combined win share of the 2006 Miami Heat bench was 18.6.

#3 2002-03 San Antonio Spurs: Malik Rose, Manu Ginobili, Steve Smith, Steve Kerr, Speedy Claxton, Kevin Willis, Danny Ferry

San Antonio Spurs v Golden State Warriors
San Antonio Spurs v Golden State Warriors

The San Antonio Spurs have won 4 NBA titles since the turn of the new millennium and 2003 was a championship year for the Spurs. A strong starting lineup was supported by a solid rotation of substitutes led by Steve Smith, Manu Ginobili, and Malik Rose. The three averaged over 20 minutes of playing time a game and provided the team with 24 points a game combined. 

Steve Kerr, now the Golden State Warriors head coach, was a three-point specialist making 39.5% of his three-pointers for the Spurs then. This was also the last season of the great David Robinson (known as The Admiral), and Kevin Willis was a solid backup at center. These backups combined for a win share in 2002-03 of 18.9.

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