Clippers’ Bench Becoming X-Factor
The Clippers’ bench is a mix of youth and age — Bledsoe is 23, Grant Hill is 40 — and award winners: both Odom and Crawford have been named the NBA’s sixth man of the year. And the reserves’ play this season has drawn raves, with many basketball observers saying the Clippers have the best collection of talent coming off the bench in the league.
They are averaging 41.7 points a game as a unit, second-best in the NBA behind San Antonio’s bench (41.9). By comparison, last season the Clippers’ reserves averaged only 26.5 points (26th-best). But that was before the team bolstered its bench talent by adding Barnes, Crawford, Odom, Turiaf and Hill in the off-season.
“The Clippers’ bench is probably the best in the league,” TNT analyst Shaquille O’Neal said during a recent game. “They average a lot of points coming off the bench. They are very fun to watch, a very entertaining group.