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5 Best benches in NBA history

Jason Mills
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 21 Dec 2019, 00:58 IST

#2 2006-07 San Antonio Spurs: Brent Barry, Fabricio Oberto, Robert Horry, Francisco Elson, Matt Bonner, Jacque Vaughn, and Beno Udrih

Robert Horry
Robert Horry

The San Antonio Spurs, since the drafting of Tim Duncan in 1997, have always been in the discussion of the best team or potential champion each year. The organization has always found solid players who play pivotal roles in the success of the team. The 2006-07 Spurs were no exception winning the NBA title that year. With Duncan, Ginobli, and Parker playing starring roles, the Spurs backups provided consistent shooting, rebounding and defense. 

Guard Brent Barry shot 47.5% from the field and over 44% from the 3-point arc. Both backup center Francisco Elson and power forward Fabricio Oberto averaged just under 5 rpg each. It is also remarkable to note that, “Big Shot Bob”, Robert Horry also played for this championship team. Horry was known for making clutch plays happen out of nowhere. This bench crew compiled a combined win share of 21.4.


#1 1988-89 Detroit Pistons: Rick Mahorn, John Salley, Dennis Rodman, Vinnie Johnson, James Edwards

Dennis Rodman
Dennis Rodman

The “Bad Boys” of Detroit dominated the NBA’s Eastern Conference for three years in the late 1980s. They appeared in three straight NBA Finals and won two consecutive in 1989 and 1990. Their acquisition of Mark Aguirre, formerly of the Dallas Mavericks, mid-season in 1989 added just enough finesse and scoring to a physical lineup that hammered and battered their opponents into submission most games. 

With Aguirre in the starting lineup, Rick Mahorn’s power was more effective off the bench and allowed him to go hard at his opponents. In only 24 minutes a game, he did not need to worry about foul trouble. A young John Salley (The Spider) and Dennis Rodman (The Worm) were defensive stoppers combining for over 14 rpg between them. They also combined for 2 blocked shots a game, as well. 

James Edwards was an interior/post scorer averaging 7.3 ppg that season. Vinnie Johnson was known as the “Microwave”. He could make shots anytime anywhere and provided the Pistons with 13.8 ppg in the 1888/89 season. What defined the “Bad Boys” of Detroit was their aggressive physical defensive play that held opponents to 100.8ppg for 2nd best in the NBA during the 1988/89 season. This edition of the Pistons’ bench had a win share of 24.9.

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Published 09 Nov 2019, 17:00 IST
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