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Ranking the NBA's 7 Weakest Benches

Roberto PayneContributor IOctober 28, 2012

Ranking the NBA's 7 Weakest Benches

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    The NBA is full of teams with fantastic bench units like San Antonio, Boston and Denver.

    The NBA is also full of teams with terrible bench units like Charlotte, Orlando and Cleveland.

    Having a weak bench can severely handicap a team if the bench players are not talented enough to carry the team throughout long periods of a game.

    Also, having a good bench is key to having that backup just in case the starters get into foul trouble or fail to produce.

    Read on for the seven weakest benches in the NBA and why each struggles to live up to the rest of the league.

7. Los Angeles Lakers

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    Projected Bench Rotation

    PG: Steve Blake
    SG: Jodie Meeks
    SF: Devin Ebanks
    PF: Antawn Jamison
    C:   Jordan Hill

     

    Analysis

    The Los Angeles Lakers are head-and-shoulders above the other six teams on this list; but frankly, the team has a bad bench.

    The Lakers went all-in with the acquisitions of Dwight Howard and Steve Nash, but they failed to address the backup point guard and small forward positions for the bench.

    Antawn Jamison will be counted upon to lead the bench unit, and his production could make or break the season.

    The Lakers have to have that production or else the starters will have a huge load and could tire over time if they have to play a ton of minutes.

    This season will be a successful one for the Los Angeles Lakers, but don't be surprised if the bench is non-existent for large stretches.

No 6. Detroit Pistons

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    Projected Bench Rotation

    PG: Will Bynum
    SG: Kyle Singler
    SF: Corey Maggette
    PF: Jonas Jerebko
    C:   Andre Drummond

     

    Analysis

    The Detroit Pistons are far from their former glory, but the team is on the right path to being relevant again.

    Promising young players Brandon Knight, Greg Monroe and Rodney Stuckey lead the team but they can't do it all.

    The bench has to give production, and that's exactly what Corey Maggette can do.

    Maggette will be counted upon to carry the scoring of the second unit, and his game fits into this perfectly because all he does is score.

    Andre Drummond could end of being a force for the Pistons if he works on his post moves.

    In the end, the Pistons have solid talent but it's not enough to keep them off this list.

5. Houston Rockets

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    Projected Bench Rotation

    PG: Scott Machado
    SG: Carlos Delfino
    SF: Terrence Jones
    PF: Royce White
    C:   Donatas Motiejunas

     

    Analysis

    The Houston Rockets are not a team built to win now, and their bench unit is a telling sign of this.

    Looking at the bench players, the first thing that jumps out is the youth on this roster. Of the five backups, four will be in their rookie seasons this year.

    While having youth is beneficial to the team, having too much youth could be their downfall.

    Royce White is an interesting part of this unit, as he has all the skills to be a point-forward type of player and the poised to be a leader among the bench.

    Having four rookies getting solid minutes is a great idea for the future of the franchise, but I highly doubt it pays off in the next couple of years.

4. Milwaukee Bucks

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    Projected Bench Rotation

    PG: Beno Udrih
    SG: Doron Lamb
    SF: Luc Richard Mbah a Moute
    PF: Drew Gooden
    C:   Ekpe Udoh

     

    Analysis

    The Milwaukee Bucks have a couple borderline stars in Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis, but there's only so much they can do.

    Other players will have to step up, and that's where sharp-shooting big Ersan Ilyasova comes in and produces.

    The problem is: All of these guys are in the starting lineup, and the bench suffers from that.

    On the bench are mainly situational role players. Drew Gordon is probably the most complete player on the bench and will be counted on to put up consistent stats.

    Doron Lamb is the real sleeper on this bench, as he missed most of preseason with an injury.

    Lamb should get every chance to be a top contributor off the bench, and looks like he'll take advantage.

    Overall, this is not the worst bench in the league but they're close.

3. Orlando Magic

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    Projected Bench Rotation

    PG: Ish Smith
    SG: J.J. Redick
    SF: Maurice Harkless
    PF: Andrew Nicholson
    C:   Gustavo Ayon

     

    Analysis

    It's kind of crazy how quickly the Orlando Magic have changed in the months since the end of last season.

    The huge loss is obviously Dwight Howard, but I don't think the Magic got enough talent to help the team win now, and Orlando will suffer for a couple years.

    The bench unit is led by J.J. Redick and that's about it. This bench squad is built for the future and that will definitely hurt the team in the short term.

    If this bench unit is to succeed, they have to find out who is the second bench-scorer.

    Once they find that, the Magic can start looking to mix and match lineups to find the best combinations off the bench.

2. Cleveland Cavaliers

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    Projected Bench Rotation

    PG: Daniel Gibson
    SG: C.J. Miles
    SF: Omri Casspi
    PF: Jon Leuer
    C:   Tyler Zeller

     

    Analysis

    The Cleveland Cavaliers have a bright, young star in Kyrie Irving but the rest of the roster is a work in progress.

    Dion Waiters and Tristan Thompson help provide youth and, for the team's sake, complimentary pieces to Irving.

    Aside from that, this team has huge holes and will struggle mightily.

    One area of concern is the bench, as it's tough to get solid production from the second unit when its most capable scorer is C.J. Miles.

    Apart from Miles, the bench is not athletic enough to keep up with some of the better bench units in the league.

1. Charlotte Bobcats

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    Projected Bench Rotation

    PG: Ramon Sessions
    SG: Gerald Henderson
    SF: Jeffery Taylor
    PF: Tyrus Thomas
    C:   Byron Mullens

     

    Analysis

    The Charlotte Bobcats are the worst team in the NBA, and it's not even close.

    The team just doesn't have the talent level to compete and, outside of a couple promising young players, the Bobcats are terrible.

    The Charlotte bench is headlined by Gerald Henderson, Ramon Sessions and Tyrus Thomas, but that's about it.

    The Bobcats are going to heavily rely on these three to carry the team when the starters are out, and they simply don't match up equally with the rest of the NBA.

    While these three are decent role players, they're not enough to get the job done, and the team will suffer as a result of the lack of talent on the roster.

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