BENCH WOES

Posted by: Jake Fischer
02/13/13 10:16 am EST

On Monday night, the 76ers were beaten by the Los Angeles Clippers in nearly every statistical category recorded for the game of basketball.  Considering they lost to a team nicknamed, “Lob City”, you would think a defining storyline to discuss two days after a 107-90 dismantling would be points in the paint, rebounding and/or fast break buckets.

Even though the Sixers did lose all of those statistical battles vs. the LAC, to me what stuck out more in that contest was the polar opposite impacts each team’s bench had on the game.  At one point in the blowout affair, the Clippers bench combined for 19-straight points in the first half as they tallied 41 points overall in the game.  Meanwhile DC’s second unit contributed virtually nothing until the game was well out of reach.

On the season overall, the Clippers have utilized their talented and plentiful bench to secure numerous victories.  The depth and versatility of LAC’s reserves allows coach Vinny Del Negro to run five bench players on the court at several points in each game without much of a drop-off  — 40.4 ppg. (2nd in the NBA).

The Sixers, on the other hand, have been the recipients of close to zero production from their bench this entire season – 25th in the League with 27.6 ppg.  Prior to their garbage time induced 32 point outburst against the Clippers, the Sixers bench had been simply brutal in its last seven games.  Over that stretch, Collins had received the following point totals from his non-starters — 15, 33, 19, 7, 21, 11 and 8. 

If you’re keeping track at home those numbers produce an average of 16.2 ppg. over the seven game span.

That’s simply disturbing.   

 

The hardest part about this collapse is that comes just one year removed from the Sixers leaning heavily on the dominant (3rd in NBA with 38.8 ppg.) and ever-popular “Night Shift”.  Last season, when head coach Doug Collins brought Thaddeus Young, Evan Turner, Lou Williams and, at times, Lavoy Allen and Nicola Vucevic, into games, the 76ers’ bench players became immediate spark plugs and allowed the team to play without any drop off from its starters. Specifically, Young, Turner and Williams combined for 37.1 points per game off the pine for the red, white and blue.

But now Louuuuu is down in the ATL and “Big Nik” is taking over the basketball world in Orlando.  The departure of Andre Iguodala and Elton Brand combined with the Bynum injury have pushed Thad, Turner and Allen into the starting lineup.  That has left the Sixers second unit depleted and thus the Sixers have gotten little to no consistent production from their bench this season.

Stuck in the Do(u)g House for what seems like will be an eternity, Dorell Wright hasn’t been able to knock down threes this season and even attempt to prove his defensive abilities.  The organization has also refused to recognize the need for a stable backup point guard to Jrue Holiday.  Lastly, with Bynum’s balky knees thrusting Spencer Hawes in the first-five, Collins has refused to let rookie Arnett Moultrie play until the last week.  The only other bigs option off the bench is… Kwame Brown, but still the office will not go out and secure even a band-aid solution for this issue. 

Now that Jason Richardson is done for the season, the remaining string of Sixers bench players average just over 15 points per game – combined (and that’s on a good day).

Thus, while the masses are saying the Sixers would have been much more successful with a healthy Bynum in at center this season, their lack of depth begs the question…How good would the Sixers actually have been with Bynum when in reality they have no bench?

As the Clippers showed us Monday night, good teams become great when they can receive consistent production from their bench.

 

 You can follow Jake Fischer on Twitter @JakeLFischer.


 
 
 

15 Responses to “BENCH WOES”

  1. George
    13. February 2013 at 10:49

    Well we got hustled in the Bynum trade, we haven’t addresses depth and it seems more and more like Evan Turner might be traded. Season seems down the toilet. I just wish we kept Nik, Harkless, and traded iggy to Toronto… Of course that’s in hindsight. The season is a bit depressing, I hope we still get to keep our draft pick. Doug won’t play him but at least there is hope. By the way, I actually look forward to Steve toll articles even if I don’t agree with him a majority of the time. There is something to be said for a different point of view

  2. Steve Toll
    13. February 2013 at 12:31

    Jake,

    What struck me when watching the game was that CP3 was so superior to Jrue that if they switched teams before the game then it would have been competitive instead of a blowout.

    The team is just terrible and through some run hot is only 6 games under. 500 when they should be closer to +14 under .500.

    If Bynum is healthy, the 76ers would win approximately 55% of its games over the course of this season. That would have them as the 7th seed in the East…..

    Cant wait for Holiday vs. Jennings tonight

  3. Steve Toll
    13. February 2013 at 12:37

    Dorell should be playing 36mpg. He can score efficiently, rebound, pass, and play adequate defense. Its hilarious how bad DC has mismanaged his playing time this year.

  4. Philadunkia
    13. February 2013 at 13:36

    Steve,

    The list of PGS that CP3 is NOT “so superior to” is very, very short.

    So I don’t think it’s a huge knock on Holiday that he did not fair well against Chris Paul.

    — C. Smith

  5. ken
    13. February 2013 at 14:11

    the more this season goes on the more people are starting to believe that its not as much the players fault for underperforming as is the fault of DC making wrong move after wrong move during games. we better get rid of him this offseason before he hurts this team more with how he manages games and the moves he makes in the offseason(the only move I liked was trading for wright but he doesn’t play even though hes our best SF option) time to clean house!

  6. Oscar
    13. February 2013 at 15:21

    No surprise that Jrue couldn’t keep up with CP3, no one can really stop him. CP3 can do what ever he wants, to who he wants, he’s just that good. Also I just want to say that I attended the game, and that I have never been a real life witness to a dunk contest, so that was pretty cool.. but sad.

  7. Rick
    13. February 2013 at 15:51

    Why is everybody so concerned with Dorrell Wright’s playing time? He had his shot at the beginning of the year and he didn’t produce. He’s had his shot in these previous games after he got benched, and guess what? He didn’t produce. He misses wide open jump shots(that is your job). Plus he is a liability on defense. He’s soft and he is not playing confident right now. Why would Doug sit him if he was playing good?

    Ken,

    He is our best SF, because he is our only SF.

    I didn’t watch most of the game, but Chris Paul is hard to stick one on one. It takes good team defense, which we don’t have right now. On the offensive end Jrue is forced into doing it all, which then causes him to make mistakes.

  8. Paolo
    13. February 2013 at 16:34

    The Sixers bench is non-productive because their bench players are in the starting line-up to replace injured starters. If our team was completely healthy, points scored by Nick Young, Hawes, and Lavoy would fall into the second unit category and would significantly raise these pointless numbers. Of course their bench sucks – the majority of their starters should be on the second unit.

    Obvious post is obvious.

  9. Damjan
    13. February 2013 at 16:46

    Doug Collins needs to step his game up and stop treating men like boys. He needs to get in their faces. This teams number one problem is that they play with no heart whatsoever. For example the the game against Indian, they played hard in the first and the game was in reach. But in the second half they come out playing soft and ultimately lose the game. This team needs to man up; Jrue gotta step up and be heard.During the game against the Clips, you saw Chris Paul,during free throws, telling his teammates what they need to do. Jrue needs to learn he’s the best player on the team and he’s the man that needs to be vocal.

  10. HWSIV
    13. February 2013 at 17:01

    Our bench is so weak because the guys slated to be the bench are starting now. Due to injuries (Bynum, J-Rich, and Thad), Hawes, Lavoy, and Swaggy are now starting. They should be role players coming off the bench not starters. I doubt they would start for many, if any, teams in the NBA right now. Dorell could be a decent player off the bench if DC would play him. Moultrie shoud get more tick than he has this season too.

    I blame management for bringing in guys like Kwame, Ivey & Wilkins and saying with a straight face at the beginning of the season that they were going to be serious contributors. Come on! Not too mention the back up point guard of the week approach. Hopefully, Pargo can settle that position down but really this was a seriously flawed and weak team before they knew Bynum was not going to play. They really have over performed to be where they are right now given their talent level and injuries.

  11. Philadunkia
    13. February 2013 at 17:58

    Paolo,

    You need to stop drinking the Dc Kool-Aid.

    I am so sick of the “injuries” excuse for this team. Until this past week, this team had one “injury” of any signifigance in 2012-13 and that was Bynum’s ongoing knee issues.

    Thad was not out for the first 45 games of the year and J-Rich has played in 33 games before it was decided he needed knee surgery.

    The reason our bench production is awful on this team is because DiLeo and Collins failed in many areas. They failed to replace reserve guys who left like Louis and Nik. They promoted Thad to the first-five and did not find a replacement for his bench production. Believing that Turner could be a starter in this League was a huge error in judgement. They also made huge mistakes in signing Kwame, Ivey and Nick Young (I don’t care how well he is playing right now).

    Those mistakes were then multiplied when they promoted Hawes/Allen from the bench to replace the injured Bynum.

    One injury had a role in the demise of the Sixers bench, but you can NOT blame injuries as the reason we have gotten no production from our bench all year.

    Thanks for reading and commenting.

    — C. Smith

  12. Jon in LA
    13. February 2013 at 18:11

    Yeah, when you get rid of your top scorer in Lou, you don’t have to be a scientist to wonder why your bench isn’t scoring as much. Dorrell and Swaggy aren’t good enough to fill his shoes.

    They tried to turn the team into Bynum’s team plus shooters, but neither of those parts have made it on the floor this year. Kinda crappy. Kinda expected as a Sixers fan.

    But F it, I still love this team.

  13. Jeff McMenamin
    13. February 2013 at 20:35

    Before the season the Sixers should’ve…

    1. Signed OJ Mayo instead of Nick Young…Had him start at SG.

    2. Traded for/signed better bigs. Hawes/Lavoy/Kwame are pathetic. Reggie Evans/Gerald Wallace come to mind.

    3. Found an energy guy for the bench like Carey said. The bench of Replacement big/J-Rich/Wright/energy guy/Moultrie would’ve been enough.

    Barnes, Brewer, Crawford, Foye, Jeffries, Nelson, N. Robinson, JR Smith, Terry and even keeping Lou were all better options. They were all UFA’s.

    Obviously the ownership/Collins signed based on Bynum being healthy, which I honestly can’t blame them for too much. I don’t think you can really judge how someone’s body will respond to surgery or if setbacks will occur. The Kwame/Young signings could’ve been avoided though and Spencer was given too big of a contract.

    I didn’t see Turner’s recent slump coming. I thought he would’ve played more like he did from Nov 15-Dec 15 for the whole season.

  14. Jake Fischer
    13. February 2013 at 22:42

    Thanks to all who have commented.

    The Sixers offseason moves would have fit very well around Andrew Bynum both offensively and defensively. However, I do think that they could have gone out and gotten much better pieces to surround him like everyone has said. They made very irresponsible and uneducated signings and handed a lot of money over to people who did not deserve it.

    The Clippers bench was not the only reason they won this game, but they proved just how easy you can win games with a very competent and skilled bench.

    Needless to say, I am very, very worried with how the 76ers organization will handle their next 2 offseasons, especially this summer, as long as Doug Collins running the show. He is a great basketball mind, a well-deserved HOF commentator, but he cannot coach at the NBA level effectively. If the greatest basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan, did not think Collins is a championship-caliber coach, shouldn’t the rest of the basketball world agree with that statement and act upon it as well?

  15. Jon in LA
    14. February 2013 at 02:53

    Jake, Jordan was also the guy pushing hard to draft Kwame with the first pick so let’s not assume he’s as good as a judge of talent as he was a player.

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